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Nihari masal in a glass jar with whole spice in the back ground.
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5 from 4 votes

Nihari Masala Recipe (spice mix)

I've tested the recipe with the fewest ingredients. Anything that can be skipped is marked with *(star). Find measures for coversion of whole spices to ground in notes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hyderabadi, Indian, Pakistani
Keyword nihari masala
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 tablespoon
Calories 22kcal



    Whole spices

    • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
    • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 teaspoon black cumin sub with cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 inch cinnamon stick broken
    • 1 nos black cardamom
    • 5 nos green cardamom*
    • 5 nos cloves
    • 1 bay leaf*
    • ½ flower star anise*
    • 1 long pepper (piply) sub with 6 black pepper

    Powdered spices

    • 2 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder for color
    • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
    • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder*
    • 2 teaspoon salt


    Nihari Masala Recipe

    • Take whole spices in a pan and dry roast for a minute on medium heat.
    • Add powdered spices, and roast another for 2-3 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. Grind into a fine powder.
    • Sieve the spice mix through a fine strainer. Discard the remains.
    • You'll need 2 tablespoons of this spice mix for 500 kg chicken nihari. And about 2-3 tablespoon for ½ kg beef Nihari. Add more after the taste test.


    • Look for these spices in Indian stores, where you can find them easily and at reasonable rates.
    • I understand finding all spices can be difficult even at an Indian home, particularly long pepper. Just skip if making a small batch.
    • I've tried this recipe without bay leaf, star anise, and long pepper, and still tastes good. I've marked anything that is not necessary with star (*).
    • Fennel seeds are particularly necessary for this recipe as they have a prominent aroma in nihari so don't skip it.
    • Consider doubling the recipe if you make nihari often or for a large family.
    • Store spice mix in an airtight jar in the fridge for 1 year.
    Whole spices are pure and have more flavor. But you can use ground once too. Find measure for substituting whole spices with grounded below.
    • Coriander seeds: 1 tablespoon
    • Cumin: 2 teaspoon
    • Fennel: 1 tablespoon
    • Black cumin: 1 teaspoon
    • Green cardamom: ½ teaspoon
    • Black cardamom:½ teaspoon
    • Bay leaf: ½ teaspoon
    • Star anise: ½ teaspoon
    • Black pepper: ½ teaspoon
    • Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon
    • Clove: ½ teaspoon
    • Long pepper: ¾ teaspoon


    Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 634mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg