Sabri Nihari | Rogers Park/West Rogers Park | Indian/Pakistani | Restaurant
Devon Avenue favorite.

Our Review

Whether served atop fragrant rice or scooped up with lightly blistered naan or griddled whole-wheat paratha, nihari—drop-dead tender beef in a rich, velvety smooth gravy—is fully deserving of its namesake status here. Marinated and grilled chicken boti, aggressively spiced frontier chicken, and ghee-enhanced butter chicken also tantalize with their lushness. Genial manager Hanif Lala suggests trying the pasanda kebab, described on the menu as beef marinated overnight and "masterfully agitated and barbecued over charcoal." Well-made vegetarian offerings include dal palak (lentils and spinach) and aloo palak (spinach and potatoes), though both are a bit heavy on the ghee. But good as the foregoing may be, what draws me back time after time is charga chicken, marinated, coated in chickpea flour seasoned with garam masala, deep-fried till crisp, then doused in a vinegary hot sauce, topped with cilantro, slivered ginger, and onions, and served in a tent of aluminum foil with a knife sticking out of it. Crunchy, juicy, hot, spicy—it's like a gigantic Punjabi buffalo wing. One word of advice: charga chicken takes about 35 minutes to prepare, so order it as you are seated. No alcohol is allowed at Sabri Nihari, but lassi and mango shakes make refreshing accompaniments.

Gary Wiviott

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