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Braised lamb shanks 'Nihari'



  • Preheat oven to 140°C normal (not fan forced!).
  • Heat a layer of ghee in a large heavy-bottomed casserole (or pot that can go into the oven) and brown the seasoned shanks all over. Remove.
  • Add a little fresh ghee to the casserole, if needed, and gently sauté the onions until golden, regularly stirring.
  • Process the fennel and cumin seeds with the paprika, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns, cinnamon and bay leaves until well combined. Then add the chilli paste and mix until a paste is formed.
  • Add the spice mix and half of the ginger to the onions with a little more ghee, if needed. Briefly cook to toast, stirring now and again.
  • Then add the flour and gently cook, continually stirring until well combined.
  • Pour in the stock and add ½ can tomatoes with a little salt. Mix well and bring to the boil. Then return the shanks to the casserole and cook in the oven for about 2½-3 hours until the meat is very tender and is almost falling off the bone.
  • When ready, remove the shanks and spoon any excess oil off the sauce, and reduce if needed. Taste for seasoning.
  • To serve, place the lamb shanks on a bed of steamed rice with plenty of the sauce spooned over. Then sprinkle the remaining ginger, the green chilli and coriander on top.




  • ghee (or olive oil)
  • 4 lamb shanks, French trimmed
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp smoked (or plain) paprika
  • 1 tspn whole cloves
  • 1 tspn ground nutmeg
  • 1 tspn black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken up
  • 2 large bay leaves, broken up
  • 1 heaped tbsp chilli paste
  • 2 good knobs fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 scant tbsp plain flour
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • ½-1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Huey's Kitchen takes a lot of care in the preparation of its recipes, but viewers are reminded to always double check that the recipe and all the ingredients are suitable.

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