Pakistan: Lamb Nihari 🇵🇰

Pakistan flag

After spending two weeks in Europe, it was back to the grindstone – with another trip to the Muslim world.

This time, I was cooking Nihari, a national dish of Pakistan, and a contrast from the rice-and-meat heavy influence of most of the Middle East. Hell, in the U.S., we’d call this fusion cuisine – a mix of Indian and Middle Eastern influences.

Put the curry and lamb with some water in the slow cooker.

Put the curry and lamb with some water in the slow cooker.

It’s easiest to think about Nihari as a curry – aromatic spices, carefully prepared, meat slow cooked in them. That’s why I used a slow cooker for Nihari, then serving the juicy goodness over white rice.

It was another hit. Relatively easy to make, fix-it-and-forget it slow cooker food that works as either a breakfast or a dinner.

This recipe was sourced from several sites, which includes My Tamarind Kitchen.


Garam masala

  • 1 Tb fennel
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 1/2 Tb coriander seeds
  • 1 Tb cumin seeds
  • 2 pieces of mace
  • 1/2 ts nutmeg
  • 2 Tb poppy seed paste (grind in a mortar and pestle with a bit of hot water)
  • 1 Tb cloves
  • 3/4 Tb black peppercorns


  • 6 Tb ghee
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1/2 Tb fresh crushed garlic
  • 2 Tb red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb lamb meat
  • 2 Tb plain flour, sifted


  1. Marinade overnight using the marinade from Oman: Harees Laham.
  2. Grind all ingredients for the garam masala in a coffee grinder.
  3. Heat ghee on medium heat and lightly fry the ginger and garlic. Then add in the lamb and brown lightly. Add red chili powder, salt and the ground garam masala.
  4. Fry until the masala is fragrant, adding water as needed to prevent burning.
  5. Move to a slow cooker, add one cup of water, and cook on medium for 3 hours or low for the day.
  6. Mix flour and about one cup water (taken from slow cooker if it’s available) and add to meat. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice.


A little saucy, but savory and delicious.

A little saucy, but savory and delicious.

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