Nihari vs. Paaye: What’s your desi cuisine favorite?

There are a couple of desi cuisine items that are a complete meal on their own. Nihari and Paaye both fall in that category. There is a fine difference between paaye and nihari that many people overlook. People with good taste and roots from Central Asia, on the other hand, can tell the difference. People typically cook paaye using beef or lamb feet. But Nihari is traditionally made with shanks, typically cow shanks but could be of chicken and mutton. So why not dig in a little deep into both dishes! And let you decide which of these dishes gets your mouth watering?


Paaye is popular, not just in Pakistan food dishes. It is well-known throughout Central and Western Asia. This dish is prominent in Maditarian cuisine as well. People in the Persian area prepare trotters with veal heads and trotters known as “kale-pace.” I believe it originated in Persia and made its way to the Indian subcontinent. Muslims on the subcontinent modify the dish to suit their tastes by incorporating onion, garlic, and Indian spices.

paaye is typically a winter dish. Cold weather and gelatinous paaye soup are usually a winning combo. They make paaye of cow, lamb, goat, and sheep hoofs or trotters. In different parts of Pakistan, people know paaye by various names such as khrude or Pacha.

It comes in high-end meals from the Mughal era. People like to serve it during various festivals and celebrations or prepared for distinguished guests. However, you can only eat paaye if you ignore your table etiquette and dip all of your fingers and thumb in the sticky curry. It is sticky due to the presence of natural gelatin. It can be an excellent option for patients who suffer from joint discomfort.

Why Paaye is little difficult to prepare?

The most pivotal point to remember is how to clean it. If you cook it with the skin, roast the trotters over a fire to remove any loose hair. You can ask the butcher to get rid of the skin and leave a small amount of flesh attached to the bone if you wish.

Cooking paaye is simple and much faster if you have a pressure cooker. But it’s challenging meat. One must cook it for an extended period. Typically, boil on a high burner with added spices, reduce to a low flame after a few boils, and leave it on the stove for a few hours. This is also why many people prefer to go to a restaurant for paaye rather than go through making them at home.


Nihari is an Indian subcontinent stew made with slow-cooked meat, primarily shank meat of cattle or lamb and mutton, goat meat and chicken, and bone marrow.

It comes from the Arabic word nahâr, which means “dawn.” Nawabs in the Mughal Empire first consumed it as a breakfast meal. It is a traditional cuisine of Muslims in India’s Lucknow, Delhi, and Bhopal. Following the partition, many Urdu-speaking Muslims from northern India relocated to Karachi and Dhaka, where they opened eateries. Pakistani food Chicago and other restaurants worldwide now serve nihari . People prepare nihari in various ways, including beef nihari, mutton nihari, nalli nihari, and magaz nihari.

Many Indians and Pakistanis enjoy it because of the texture and softness of the meat. Rich in beef, low in spices.

This meal uses slowly cooked meat, such as mutton, beef shanks, or chicken. In large pots wrapped with dough, chefs cook the meat with stock and various spices like cloves, garam masala, cardamom, and cumin. One of the major reasons to eat nihari is the seasoning, so add a lot of ginger, chiles, and a squeeze of lime juice. The spice enhances the flavor and creates a mind-blowing contrast to an already delicious dish.

This dish has to be cooked for six to eight hours to prepare well. Restaurants and people often serve it with Kashmiri Rotis or tandoori rotis.

In conclusion, to preserve nihari’s taste, we traditionally prepare it at Sabri nihari. It is our significant and top item among other Pakistani food dishes. That is why we have the greatest Pakistani food in Chicago. Visit us for a once-in-a-lifetime desi cuisine. Let us know which is your favorite from nihari and paaye and why? We would love to hear from you.