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Beef Nihari Sandwich

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Comfort food at its very best! Give his beef nihari sandwich recipe a try soon.

This is very similar to a French Dip sandwich but in my opinion, so much better. In this recipe you use beef silverside (top round) which is a cheap cut of meat. Usually when I make beef nihari I use beef shin or brisket as there is a lot of delicious fat. The thing is, those cuts need to be cooked for 3 to 4 hours until they are fall of the bone amazing for your nihari curry.

Today I decided to use silverside (top round) which I simmered in the pot for two hours. Then I allowed it to chill overnight in the fridge before slicing the meat thinly for the beef nihari sandwich. This was so good!

Beef nihari sandwich

What is the idea behind this beef nihari sandwich?

You are aiming for something that resembles and French dip sandwich or perhaps even a good Chicago style beef sandwich. It does taste quite different though because of the nihari sauce and all the nice toppings.

In my opinion, this is best soaked in the broth before each bite. It can be messy but really is it a must!

How is the sauce different to a traditional beef nihari?

You do not need to cook the meat for this beef nihari sandwich as long as you would if you were preparing a beef or lamb nihari curry. For a nihari curry, you want the meat to be really tender before serving. You get around that in this beef nihari sandwich recipe by slicing the meat really thin. The sauce is also not thickened with chapatti flour as you would a nihari curry.

Instead, you reduce the sauce down to thicken it and then serve it on the side to dip you sandwiches in.

The flavour is quite similar but this is a great way to serve nihari. I love naans but using the sourdough rolls as in this recipe makes it a fantastic fusion dish I want to make again very soon.

Is the meat you choose important?

Yes. I am currently writing my tenth cookbook and this recipe will most certainly feature. You don’t want to use an expensive cut of meat as cheaper cuts often have more flavour and just need to cook down until tender.

In this case, silverside (top round) was my meat of choice as it is what is used at some of the best steak sandwich restaurants in the US. They use this cut for a reason! It’s economical and tastes amazing!

You could use beef shanks and cook them until the meat can be easily shredded or chuck or brisket that can also be cooked until cooked through and perfect for slicing.

What is silverside (top round)?

Silverside or top round in the USA is a cut of beef that comes from the hindquarters of the cow. It is a relatively lean cut that is known for its toughness compared to other cuts of beef. The name “silverside” comes from the thin layer of silvery connective tissue on the surface of the meat. This connective tissue can make the meat a bit tough, so silverside is often used for slow cooking methods, such as pot roasting or braising, to break down the tough fibers and achieve a more tender result.

Can you work ahead?

Yes! You can prepare the meat and broth a couple of days ahead of serving. In fact, the flavours will develop as it sits in the fridge and your beef nihari sandwich will be even better. 

How long can you keep leftovers in the fridge?

You can keep this in the fridge for at least three days. Then just heat it up and serve.

Can you freeze the meat and sauce?

You sure can. You can freeze this for up to 6 months. To serve, allow it all to defrost completely and then just heat it up slowly and gently in a pan.

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for beef nihari sandwich

Get all your ingredients together before starting. There are a lot of them but this is worth it!

The nihari masala ready for adding to the sauce.

Grind the whole spices and add the paprika, chilli powder and ground ginger.

Frying the sliced onions, marrow bones and garlic in the pot.

Add the onions to the pot with the marrow bones and fry for about 5 – 7 minutes to brown and soften the onion. Stir in the smashed garlic and fry for another minute.

Transferring the onions and garlic to a plate.

Transfer the onions, marrow bones and garlic to a plate and set aside.

Searing the meat in ghee in the pot.

Sear the meat on all sided for about 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Adding the fried onions, garlic and marrow bones to the pot.

Once browned, return the onions and marrow bones to the pot and add the nihari masala.

Adding water and then simmering the beef with the other ingredients.

Add just enough water to cover and then cover the pot and simmer for about 2 hours.

Reducing the sauce by half in the pot.

After two hours, transfer the meat to a plate to cool. It’s best to get it really cold for slicing in the fridge. Reduce the sauce by half.

Beef sliced thinly for stacking on the sandwiches.

When the meat is cold, slice in thinly against the grain.

The sliced meat in the hot broth.

Season the broth and then place the sliced meat in the bubbling broth. You are now ready to start building those sandwiches.

Placing some meat on a sourdough roll.

Load those rolls up with mounds of the hot meat.

Dunking a beef nihari sandwich in the hot broth.

You can dunk the sandwich in the broth if you like.

Topping the nihari sandwich with the garnishes.

Top with your condiments of choice.

Beef nihari sandwich.

Wrapping the sandwiches in wax paper and then slicing them down the centre makes them easier to devour.

Dipping a beef sandwich in the broth at the table.

Serve at the table with more garnishes and bowls of the broth to dip your sandwich in.

Beef nihari sandwich

Dig in! You are going to love this!

If you like this beef nihari sandwich recipe, you might like to try some of these recipes too!

  1. Shredded beef tacos
  2. Beef pho
  3. Chinese crispy beef
  4. Mongolian beef
  5. Karalan lamb stir-fry
  6. Goan Mutton Curry
  7. Lamb and sweet potato curry
  8. Lamb or beef keema
  9. Kashmiri lamb or mutton rogan josh
  10. Restaurant style lamb vindaloo

Have you tried this beef nihari sandwich recipe?

If yes, please give it a star rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

Yield: 6 - 8

Beef Nihari Sandwich

Beef nihari sandwich

Similar to a French Dip sandwich or Chicago style steak sandwich but with a delicious flavour all its own. You are going to love this beef nihari sandwich recipe!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 x 2kg (4 lbs.) silverside (top round) roast
  • 3 – 4 chunks of beef marrow bones
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 whole nutmeg, crushed into smaller pieces
  • 1 large blade mace
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves)
  • 2.5cm (1 in) cinnamon stick or cassia bark, broken
  • into small pieces
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black (royal) cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) ghee
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 5 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
  • 125ml (1⁄2 cup) rapeseed oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 - 8 x 30cm (1 foot) crusty sour dough rolls
  • 12 slices of sandwich cheese such as Provolone (optional)
  • 4 tbsp (or more) finely julienned ginger
  • 2–3 hot fresh green chillies, finely sliced
  • Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Place the silverside (top round) in a large bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. This can be done a day or two ahead of cooking and kept in the fridge. Set aside.
  2. To make the nihari masala, place the nutmeg, mace, fennel seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, peppercorns, nigella seeds, cloves and cumin seeds in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Stir in the paprika, chilli powder and ground ginger. Set aside.
  3. Now heat the ghee or in a large saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. Add the onion rings and marrow bones and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft, translucent and lightly browned. Then add the smashed garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes. Transfer the onions, marrow bones and garlic to a plate and set aside.
  4. Now place the beef in the pan and brown it on all side for about 5 minutes. Return the marrow bones and fried onion to the pan and pour in the nihari masala. Add just enough water to cover the meat and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cover the pot and allow it all to simmer gently for about 2 hours. Transfer the meat to a plate and allow to cool some before placing it in your fridge to cool more. It is much easier to slice the meat thinly if it is cold.
  6. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, until reduced by about half. Adjust the seasoning and turn off the heat until you are ready to slice the meat. You want to slice the meat as thinly as you can so take some time to do this. A large, sharp knife will come in handy.
  7. Slice the meat paper thin or as close as you can get to that and then add it back into the sauce and heat it all up until hot.
  8. For best results, heat your sourdough rolls in the oven but that is not essential. If you heat the bread in your oven, you might like to add some sandwich cheese to melt. Slice the rolls down the centre and top with a generous portion of the sliced meat, right out of the pot. You could also dip sandwich in some of the broth but this is done at the table too.
  9. Top the meat with coriander (cilantro), chillies, julienned ginger and/or a good squeeze of lemon juice. You might also like to wrap the sandwiches in wax paper to make them less messy.
  10. Serve at the table with more garnishes and bowls of the hot broth which you can dip you beef nihari sandwich in before each bite. Enjoy!

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