Chicken Nihari

Nihari is hot, spicy, and very earthy. usually made with Mutton and even Beef, but tastes equally amazing with Chicken too. Nihari is one amazing and luxury dish served for breakfast. I still remember traveling to Delhi since I was a kid and I would always look forward to having Nihari. My father always preferred Chicken Nihari since we don’t consume Beef, he found it hard to believe small restaurants selling Beef Nihari as Mutton Nihari. Back in those days, almost 25-30 years ago, it was hard since the restaurants in “Purani Dilli” or the “Jama Masjid” area, restaurants weren’t as hip as what they are now and definitely not too comfortable for people to go with families. My father would always send in a servant who would travel with us to get some Mughlai Breakfast. Paaya, Kheema, Bheja and Nihari.

Nihari is always topped with some Barista, julienne ginger, green chilies, coriander leaves, and Lemon. When I was a teenager, my mom started making Nihari at home. She would make it with Mutton as well as Chicken. Even though I had the dish so many times, I never had the urge to try making it myself. Initially, my mom depended on the masala powder that used to be sold in Delhi. But as she kept cooking, she figured out how to make it by herself. The packet had the list of ingredients and my mother with a few experiments, got the knack of how much of each ingredient should be to make the perfect Nihari masala.

I had this dish so many times and honestly, it’s one of my most favorite ones too but I never felt the urge to attempt it. And then after trying different recipes for Chicken curries, I thought of giving Chicken Nihari a try. I asked my mother for the proportion of the spices and the recipe and gave it a try.

My mother always cooked the Nihari using Ghee, but during a trip to Jama Masjid, New Delhi with Mr. Parveez and I went to a restaurant and while talking to the chefs and people working there we found out that the traditional Delhi Nihari was cooked using Mustard Oil. I know that sounds weird but it’s true. Though I made my Nihari using Mustard Oil, I couldn’t just use all Mustard Oil since it’s pretty strong and I prefer mixing it with little Olive Oil. I also used Ghee for tempering.

Nihari is basically a traditional Muslim dish that was introduced by the Mughal kitchen. Nihari has a slightly different version in every region it’s made because with time every region develops and blends its flavors with the original recipe. Nihari comes from the Persian word “Nahar” which means “ early morning”. Nihari is basically a morning dish and is eaten for breakfast. I believe the way the spices blend in and the way it’s cooked, eating it for any other meal would be too heavy. Nihari always comes out more flavorful if it’s slow-cooked. Back in the day, the chefs would cook it overnight. Of course, that ain’t possible but, I still feel that cooking it on low flame slowly, makes it more flavorful. Using a heavy bottom pan is always better too.

The spice mix makes Nihari earthy and aromatic. It’s spicy but not too hot that would make you cry. The barista and thin slices of Ginger with chopped onions and green chilies are what make it more delicious. Therefore, don’t skip it if you want to get complete satisfaction. fried onion and julienned ginger at the end can be skipped but I would recommend you to definitely use it. The mild sweetness of the Barista balances the spice. Nihari has a lot of history and though the dish is simple, it does require a lot of time and a little effort, but in the end, it’s all worth the effort.

Bohri Biryani

Dawoodi Bohras are a Shia Muslim community. Most people from this community are settled India and Pakistan. As much as the people are loving, they are very generous hosts and love serving their guests to the best of their ability. We happen to have few friends from the community and we love their food.

My Mom had a best friend who passed away a few years ago and also happened to be a Bohri Muslim. She was a super fabulous cook and made amazing food and some of her recipes were just hard to make since, it missed out the flavors of her hand. I still remember tasting my first home baked bread at her house and the way she smothered the butter on the bread slice and I loved each bite of that slice. May her soul rest in peace.

So, with all the fabulous people around me, surprisingly no one cooked Biryani. Now, as a Biryani lover I had so much about how their families cooked Biryani in those Big “deg” [a big vessel made of copper or iron] but, they just couldn’t get down to following the hard recipe to make the same Biryani.

I have never met another crazy woman like me, who goes around collecting recipes from different places and communities. I bet sometimes people find that super annoying and honestly, after so much research I have lost the count to how many trials of different Biryanis I have done. Some got wasted since they weren’t so good. But, the collection I offer are from the best ones I made and they came out to be super delicious and fabulous.

Coming back to the Bohri Biryani. After a lot of research from different people, I made this Biryani which is as good as it can be from a Bohri family. Bohri Biryani uses Nutmeg and Mace. So, if its your preference to not use it, then its your personal choice but otherwise Bohri Muslims are allowed to consume both the spices. Do try it and if you miss out on anything or find anything confusing, feel free to ask.

Bangladeshi Ramadan Biryani

I have some weird connection to bengali cuisine. I wish I knew the reason. They just so easily attract me and I literally crave to try them. The funniest part is that I am not a fan of Bengali sweets, that actually has the world going crazy. I am a fan of their Biryani, egg rolls, fish curries, fish fry and the chicken curries. You can search this site for more recipes from the east region.

Coming back to this Biryani. Once during my search for a new recipe, I came across the fact that Bangladesh has a unique flavors during Ramadan, specially for Biryani. This particular Biryani is only served during Ramadan in Bangladesh. Ramadan is a wonderful time for Muslims, actually let me rephrase it, Ramadan is a beautiful time for every food lover. As much as some people think that fasting is tough for Muslims, the fact is that most Muslims gain weight during Ramadan. I India, most foods like samosas, kebabs, Haleem etc are made specially during Ramadan and street foods are sold all night with every food you can think of. From crispy pastries to Turkey legs, fried fish to Tandoori Raan, different kinds of Mithai to Icecreams…Ramadan is a month of feasting….

This Biryani recipe is simple and delicious. The steps are easy to follow and pics and recipes show things in complete detail. It can be made in Fish as well with few changes to the recipe. You can always contact me to get the details.

Chicken Kebab Kurkura

This recipe was an invention on a kids play date. The kids wanted fried chicken, well kind of fried and something that tastes close to tandoori, and it shouldn’t be something that they have already tasted. Oh Boy! Do you have kids who can test your creativity to a complete different level. Well, fortunately I do…LOLzzz. And as much as it tires and drains me out at times, it leaves me with the happiness of being able to create more recipes and compete with my own self to come up with something better.