• Indian/Pakistani beef nihari (Flavour Swap)Source: Flavour Swap
Nihari, a slow-cooked, spiced beef dish, varies from region to region and Sumaiya Jawedan likes it ultra-rich.
By
Camellia Ling Aebischer

12 Sep 2019 - 10:54 AM  UPDATED 17 Sep 2019 - 6:38 PM

Nihari is a fragrant, spiced meat curry native to India and Pakistan’s Muslim population, but what makes it really special is its lip-smacking richness.

Sumaiya Jawedan, a Tasmanian migrant from India and star home cook in the short film Flavour Swap, makes sure there’s a healthy dose of bone marrow in her family nihari recipe.

“It really gives an awesome flavour  - a richness,” she says.

Jawedan is Muslim, so unlike many other Indians she eats beef, and prefers the beef shin for her recipe as it contains plenty of bone marrow. All of the rich beef fat helps carry flavour from Jawedan’s masala, fragrancing the dish (important sidenote, marrow bones can be used to amp up any slow-cooked meat curry).

Jawedan's nihari recipe
Nihari

Nihari is a traditional Indian Muslim spicy beef stew usually eaten for breakfast with naan bread. 

Each region across India and Pakistan has its own variation of nihari, so for Jawedan, who grew up in Lucknow, Northern India, nihari needs to be extra spicy with plenty of bone marrow.

The hearty dish is typically eaten for breakfast, after cooking all night. “The meat has practically disintegrated,” says Jawedan, who serves her nihari with homemade naan bread to soak up the gravy.

Preparing nihari pasta at Fico.

Sharing her recipe with chefs Oskar Rossi and Federica Andrisani of upscale Italian Hobart restaurant, Fico, was a new experience for Jawedan.

She invited the chefs into her home to cook her nihari recipe as part of the Flavour Swap documentary in which Rossi and Andrisani then interpreted the meal into their own inspired dish. Both dishes were then served for a lunch event at Tasmanian art museum Mona.

Rossi and Andrisani's nihari pasta
Nihari pasta with saffron and bone marrow sauce (Capelli del prete alla nihari)

Italian-restaurant chefs transformed the flavours of Indian Muslim spicy beef stew into a rich and elegant pasta dish. 'Capelli del prete' means priest's hat, as the pasta is folded into a shape similar to its namesake. 

Living in Australia has meant many other new experiences and independence both inside and outside the kitchen.

Jawedan had an arranged marriage at the age of 19, but when she moved to Australia with her partner, she found a new level of freedom.

“In Australia I found women are very independent. They are doing jobs, they’re wearing what they like, they’re eating what they like.

“I learned to drive here and to go out. I can’t [even] tell you the importance of freedom.”

You can watch Jawedan in Flavour Swap exclusively on SBS On Demand.

Cook the Flavour Swap recipes
Nihari

Nihari is a traditional Indian Muslim spicy beef stew usually eaten for breakfast with naan bread. 

Nihari pasta with saffron and bone marrow sauce (Capelli del prete alla nihari)

Italian-restaurant chefs transformed the flavours of Indian Muslim spicy beef stew into a rich and elegant pasta dish. 'Capelli del prete' means priest's hat, as the pasta is folded into a shape similar to its namesake. 

Spice-crusted fish with oxtail, prawn and cassava

This multi-component dish is perfect for when you feel like getting experimental in the kitchen with flavours, and need a meal that will seriously impress. 

Liberian cassava leaf and meat

A one-pot wonder, this key to this flavourful stew is a homemade African seasoning. 

Judy’s extra hot Liberian chilli sauce

Liberian home cook Judy Cole says this volcanic chilli sauce, "will take you to Africa and back again!".

Cassava taco with seared wallaby

Cassava is a nutty-tasting root vegetable that is high starchy, making it easy to transform into unique taco wraps. In this recipe, they're filled with seared wallaby, spiced butter, and a punchy green salsa.

Corn and fufu fritters

These fritters are just what a fritter should be: crisp and golden on the outside, fluffy and light on the inside. They're perfect served with this green chilli, green tomato and coriander salsa.

Refugee cousins cook together again after shock 11-year reunion
Liberian refugee Judy Cole says cooking was a happy place for her during the nine years spent at a Guinea camp.