Nihari is a rich, simmered-for-hours braise of meat, onions, and spices that has become one of the iconic dishes of Pakistan. It’s also one of luckyfatima‘s all-time favorite foods. “It’s traditionally made with beef shank cooked on a slow simmer for hours and hours until the meat is so tender it is gelatinous and falls apart when touched gently with a naan,” she says. The browned onions and garam masala give the gravy its flavor, and anise and fennel “give the dish a distinct perfume,” says luckyfatima. Nihari is a special, fancy dish, and people eat it with special bread (like flaky warqi paratha or “thick, fluffy kulchas”) rather than the plain, everyday roti.

Traditional condiments cut the richness of the dish. It’s meant to be served with “fresh ginger shards, cilantro, green chile slices, and a squeeze of lime juice,” says luckyfatima. “It is soupy and one sops up the luscious, fennel seed-perfumed gravy with a piece of flat bread. It is an amazing dish, and I highly recommend it.” paulj agrees—he has dined on nihari twice, and found it so memorable that he can remember the exact details even though it’s been years, he says.

Discuss: And God Made Nihari

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