Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pakastani "Old Clothes" Beef Curry (Nihari)

When I first saw the cookbook, The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla, I knew I wanted it. I don't buy a lot of cookbooks anymore, but this one was unique and had real appeal for me.

I love, love, Indian food. I love the spices and the complicated flavors. I have tried my hand at cooking Indian food, with mixed success. It is a very labor intensive way of cooking and a real gift of love, which I believe adds to the deliciousness.

Having had much success with crock pot cookery, this book doubly appealed to me, and also made sense. Not having ever seen anyone actually cooking Indian food, I've always had to depend on words, all of which did not totally make sense (to me). Dumping everything into a crock pot and walking away sounded so alluring, I finally bought the book.

There was still a bit of work to this recipe, namely peeling and slicing vegetables and mixing and grinding spices--all the most pleasurable parts of cooking to me. The combination of spices was so exotic and aromatic, I was practically swooning.

Pakistani "Clothes" Beef Curry (Nihari)
2 medium onions, sliced
2 pound beef brisket
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
4 whole cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp. garam masala
2 Tbsp. ground fennel
1 Tbsp. red chile powder
2 pinches nutmeg
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. white salt
1 tsp. black salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

Put the onions in the crock pot. Top with the beef.

Grind the ginger and garlic into a paste (I used a mini food processor) and add to crock pot.

Add the ground ginger, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, garam masala, fennel, red chile powder, nutmeg, turmeric, white and black salt. Drizzle the oil over everything. There's no need to mix.

Cook on low for 9 hours. The dish is done when the beef starts to shred and fall apart, just like old clothes.

Enjoy with thick naan and a salad made with sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and sliced cucumbers, all drizzled with fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with sea salt and a little red chile.


  1. We have been branching out with more robust flavors in our dishes and it has been fun. Of course having a adventurous eater for a husband helps! This looks like a good one to try, and I am always looking for a new way to cook beef, one of my favorite meats. Thanks.

  2. Having an adventurous eater to cook for is a pleasure I am also thankful for. Let me know what you think if you decide to try this. And thank you for your comment.

  3. Yummy that looks real good, i love trying out different curry's


  4. Hello Simon, we really enjoyed this and I hope you will too. Thank you for your comment.