JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Instant Pot

Pakistani-Style Spiced Beef Stew

4 Servings

FAST: 1¾ hours
Slow: 7-8 hours 40 minutes active

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

This rich, aromatic stew, called nihari, traditionally is made with a special seasoning blend known as nihari masala, a mixture that might contain more than a dozen spices. To create similar complexity with far fewer ingredients, we rely on curry powder (for color and savory notes) and garam masala (for its spicy warmth). Lemon juice stirred in at the end adds brightness that balances the stew's richness. Serve with basmati rice or warmed flatbread and, if you desire a little spice, garnish with sliced jalapeño or serrano chilies.




Don't slice the onions too thinly. A ½-inch thickness or so ensures the pieces won't turn to mush during pressure cooking. Make sure to cook the onions until browned, as this builds flavor.

FAST: 1¾ hours
Slow: 7-8 hours

40 minutes active


  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter

  • 2

    medium yellow onions, halved and sliced ½ inch thick


Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Melanie O.

"Wow, Oh wow, Phenomenal, Excellent, Wow, Wow" Direct quotes from my husband while he was eating this. Savory and great depth of flavor. The meat was nice and tender. I followed the recipe exactly except used beef round rump roast, becaise that is what my grocer had, and used some sliced ají amarillo peppers as a garnish instead of jalapeños. We'll definitely be keeping this in the rotation. Thanks for yet another fantastic recipe.

Lorraine T.

Great recipe, and super easy! I would recommend serving it with rice.

Harvey B.

To convert these to standard pot cooking, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for several hours? Need to add any more liquid than what's stated?

Lynn C.

Hi Harvey -

This recipe - - is very similar so I would follow the recipe above in terms of ingredients, but follow the Cookish recipe for the oven instructions. The Cookish version does not sauté the onions and spices before cooking since the oven allows for more evaporation and, therefore, more flavor development so we don't need the extra step or the water.

The Milk Street Team

Rose B.

Milk Street Team! Love you guys...but some key pieces are missing with this one. I get that you are adapting this from an original (i.e. including curry powder which is not something you would see in the original version), but still small additions to this version will help. Beef Shank is preferred and having some bones with the marrow is key. You can still make this in the IP as long as you sear first. Please eat Nihari with Naan so you can scoop us all the goodness that comes with cooking the meat and bones. Finally, at the end have a platter with fresh cilantro, chilli, lemon, fried onion, and chaat masala (found at local Indian stores). I am super happy to see more cuisine from Pakistan and Afghanistan and other areas in the Asian subcontinent. Definitely a different flavour profile and so many treasures to try! Thanks!