Delhi is a cosmopolitan metro. The food has been influenced by the various dynasties that have ruled here. Nihari was a breakfast item in the Mughlai Palaces. The tender meat breaks upon the softest touch of the light fluffy tandoori roti (bread). The melting bone barrow, gravy loaded with ghee and garnishing of ginger and coriander is the ultimate luxury for your taste buds. It is a must have food on your checklist when you are exploring Delhi.
The legendary hotels have been serving this mouth watering dish since generations. Here is a list of the best places to savour this dish from:
Haji Al Noora
| Bara Hindu Rao, Near Pul Bangash Metro Station, Delhi -06
The oldest Nihari hotel in town Haji Al Noora tops the charts when authentic Nihari is your quest. It’s 1 km away from metro station, one has to search a bit, but you’ll not find it taxing. It’s hardly 25 Rs per person. It is not very spicy, unlike many others around. There is a huge crowd waiting even before the shop opens, opening time being 6:30 – 8:30 in the morning and 5-7 in the evening.
It’s served with the spongy hot tandoori roti (bread). The flowing butter and the flaky meat dissolve in your mouth like crème. It’s the best place for a economic feast. The stock finishes even before the closing time!!
Kallu Ki Nihari
|180, Chatta Lal Mian, Jama Masjid, Delite Cinema, Darya Ganj, Delhi -02
This place is a small modest shop but the Nihari would put five stars to shame. High on spice and perfectly cooked rich thick gravy with the softest Khameeri Roti the Kallu ki Nihari is a treat for your taste buds.
It’s cooked overnight in an underground earthen oven in the most traditional methods. The butter separates and comes up to glaze the savoury spectacularly. The entire lane has the hot aroma pulling you to the shop. However it’s a struggle to get it. And most of the times the stock finishes within half an hour of opening. It’s less than 200 Rs for two. It only opens after 6pm in the evening and stock finishes at most about 7pm.
| No.8, Jama Masjid, Matia Mahal Road Delhi -06
The huge hand is placed on the counter give a royal kitchen’s look to the double storey restaurant. The Nihari is made only in the evening. It’s around 550 Rs for 2 people. Both mutton and beef Nihari are available. The hotel is located in the main street of the famous Chandni Chowk market.
It has a well air conditioned seating arrangement. You will be welcomed by one of the most hospitable catering group. They serve special onion lemon salad with the spicy steaming hot gravy. The gravy here is less thick in density compared to the first two. It is a tempting flavour.
|370, Main Road Zakir Nagar, Okhla, New Delhi 110025
Keeping true to their name “Purani Delhi” the restraint serves the best of old traditional flavours. When it comes to their Nihari, people are waiting for it with at most patience near the hot tandoors. The mutton Nihari is rich and loaded with the nalli (bone marrow).
It is served with butter glazed naan. Tender naan is enough to sever the meat into shreds. Even before you have the look of the dish you already imagine it getting intoxicated with beautiful fragrance in the entire restaurant. It’s open 7 days a week and the bill comes up to 500 Rs for two.
|Al Madina, Hari Kothi, Abul Fazal Okhla, New Delhi 110025
This restraint pulls people staying kilometres away for its special unique flavour. The hotel is famous for the slight twist given to the dish. They make it less spicy for the delicate stomach people.
The entire day the bulky utensil (handi) is kept half buried in the tandoor. The chef keeps adding more and more butter to make it rich. The ginger and coriander garnishing is done very generously. And the hygiene of the cooking procedure is remarkable, not a single fly or any filth. It is only open at night and the bill would come up to about 150 Rs for two people.
Haji Shabrati Nihari Wale
|722, Haveli Azam Khan, Jamia Masjid, Matia Mahal Road Delhi -06
Serving the traditional breakfast savoury, the Haji Shabrati Nihari Wale is a small take away restaurant. While others believe in pomp and show, this shop is a tough competition yet a display of simplicity. The old man himself sits in the shop serving his customers with the best of the flavours. It’s very economic place hardly 200 Rs for a full meal.
The place is clean and amidst the hustle of the Chitli Kabar lanes. The shop opens early in the morning at 6am – 10am and the evening hours are 6pm -9pm.
|Baradari, Balli Mahran, New Delhi -06
Saeed Nihari, another haven for a Nihari lover. It has brown coloured gravy and lip smacking flavours with the hot tandoori roti. It’s a must mention in any Nihari lists. It only opens in the morning from 7am to 10 am.
Saeed Nihari is high on spice. So the sweet tooth people need to have a water bottle kept by side. Nevertheless it’s worth it!!!
| Next to Jaswant Apartments, Tikona Park, Jamia Nagar New Delhi 110025
Next in the countdown is Bilal ki Nihari. It opens only at night after 7pm and is open till mid – night. On special occasions like Eid and Ramadan its open the entire night and that too with customers in there!! The gravy has some pulses and a vast array of spices.
It’s not very spicy and the roti is a special doodh wali tandoori roti which has the dough kneaded using milk. The roti and Nihari are so rich in the ingredients a person can rarely eat more than two of the roti! It’s again a very affordable place and will cost you not more than 200 for the meal.
Monis Kada Nihari
| Batla House, Next to Mark Super Store, New Delhi – 110025
This place is one of the oldest hotels in the area serving for more than three decades now. It has a well organised seating arrangement. The entire day it has customers occupying the place and munching on the famous Nihari.
It s orange color is different from the conventional ones. It has a more tangy flavour and the fat content is lower. Good for the health conscious people!! It is very low on spice almost like just balanced on salt. It’s the best option for a healthy yet tasty meal. The meal will cost you about 300 Rs for two.
Haji Shiroo Ki Nihari
|Next to Kalan Masjid, Turkman Gate, New Delhi 110006
Haji Shiroo ki Nihari is among the top competitors for serving world- class Nihari. The place opens early in the morning 6am and the entire stock is cleared within an hour.
It serves the bona fide cuisine in the traditional metal utensils and serving dish. The Nihari tickles every taste bud you have!! The strong spices will get your senses revived and the butter and rich gravy will give you the royal feelings. It’s only 100 Rs for two.
| 24/18 Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Okhla – 110025
This place serves you both Mutton Nihari and Beef Nihari. Both of them are under 200rs for two. The difference lies in the taste of the two. While the Beef Nihari is very heavy and rich in butter and bone marrow the Mutton variant is lower on the fat content.
The Beef Nihari is more popular amongst customers as the bone marrow is creamy and heavy. It flows and melts on the tongue.
|Govt. Primary school, |E – block, Jamia Nagar, Okhla – 110025
It is a small takeaway restaurant. Yet the spice game is on point. The flavours of the place make it a bustling centre every day. Hostel students and office going people none can stop their feet from going in the Nihari hotel.
The roti (bread) is sprinkled with sesame seeds and the Nihari is beautifully cooked in a oven. The hotel makes around two to three stocks all of which finish within an hour of starting.
The hotel is on ideal location and is very economical.
Rafik Nihari Hotel
|Chandni Chowk Delhi – 110006
A very simple restaurant with the most hygienic practices the hotel offers the old authentic Nihari. It’s a very economical place and doesn’t charge you more than 70 Rs for two. The Nihari is available the entire day unlike others where it is available only during two time slots.
The Rafik Nihari hotel is named after the owner who himself checks the flavour of the dish every day before it is served to his dear customers. They have a secret recipe which they wouldn’t share that easily with us!!
Royal Biryani House
|E – block, Abul Fazal Jamia Nagar, Okhla – 110025
Though the name is Biryani House, in the evening hours it seems as it only has Nihari on the menu card.
The unique flavours, strong aroma make it an entry in this list. It’s located on main road and has a lot of other restraints next to it, but this doesn’t affect its customer queues in the least. The Nihari is served after 12pm until 11pm. It will cost you about 150 for two.
|Near living style mall, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi
For those of you who don’t like exploring into the narrow lanes and want to sit on a sofa and love stars this one is for you. A dynamic interior and a warm hotel staff Zuby’s kitchen is a classic high class restaurant.
They serve only Mutton Nihari. The Nihari is very minimal spiced and is very rich in flavours. The buttered naan has a lot of different flavour variants which is served with a steaming bowl of Nihari. Though it is expensive compared to others, billing you about 800 Rs for two, it is worth the experience.
|Yamuna Road, E – Block, Jamia Nagar, Okhla – 110025
Again a classy restaurant with comfortable huge sofas and the most exquisite interiors Al Shawaya is a luxurious place serving the traditional Nihari.
The manager is the most welcoming of the entire staff, keeps asking you for things. This place is entirely the best name amongst restaurants. The Nihari is slightly changed according to the delicate palate of aristocratic people. The naan is served directly from the tandoor only one at a time to provide it hot and fresh.
The meal bill comes to be around 750 – 800 Rs for two.
|Thokar no.5, Abul Fazal, Okhla, New Delhi
Similar sounding named restaurants surround the place where Al Nawaz is located but it shines tall with the unique Red coloured exteriors. The place is beautiful and so is the food. Well known for its Nihari, Al Nawaz is amongst the few restaurants which serve the Nihari at both morning and evening hours.
The Nihari is garnished with ginger and coriander and the khameeri roti is loaded with butter. The serving is followed by adding extra bone marrow to the dish bowl which is not only a treat to the tongue but also a fun to watch thing.
Though a very classy place its not that expensive. Hardly 400 Rs for two.
|Next to Yamuna Bridge, 4 number Lane, New Delhi
The oldest chain of restaurants has their branch in Jamia Nagar which is the most popular amongst local and distant people alike.
It’s almost a five star restaurant when it comes to the interiors. They have self – service provisions and also offer an extra dish when the order exceeds a set bar price.
However the most attractive part of the restaurant is the Nihari. Being in the business for more than 80 years they know the real Nihari. They have a secret recipe running through their family legacy. The Nihari is not spicy nor bland, it has an unexplainable taste which leaves you nostalgic. The bill comes up about 650 Rs for two.
|Tikona Park, Jamia Nagar, Okhla – 110025
Located near the area with most of the hostels and PGs it is surrounded by many food outlets. Mainly known for its rolls this place is a must try for any Nihari explorer.
Both mutton and beef Nihari are available for 180 and 70 rupees respectively for a single serving. There is seating arrangement. The place is flooded with customers during evening hours. It’s known for its roomali roti which is as thin as paper. Dipped in a rich, fiery gravy it will take you on a ride!!
Javed Ki Nihari
| Batla House, near transformer, Jamia Nagar, Okhla – 110025
Javed ki Nihari is the most famous amongst the young college going generation. The spice voltage of the dish is 100 volts. It’s the electrifying flavour that makes it the most visited place. The spice gives it a bright red colour, perfect for an Instagram update.
During evening hours it’s nearly impossible to get in there to buy yourself a plate of Nihari. The morning hours are relatively free. It’s a very easy on pocket destination.