Lamb Biryani with the Instant Pot

Lamb Biryani with the Instant Pot

Be it a special occasion or a Friday family lunch, biryani has the ability to make every meal a celebration. The beautiful combination of spices and flavors has made it an epitome of Desi cooking! A dish cooked in almost every Indian household; it is a treat that is hard to beat!

But sometimes, I can be a bit tricky and time consuming to prepare. The Instant Pot takes away all the hassle. Apart from the prep work all it takes is 30 minutes and, voila! An amazing meal ready with the least amount of work involved.

Check out the recipe below.

Recipe (Serves 4 to 6)


1 KG Lamb

1 cup of fried onions (homemade or store bought)

5 tbsp of yogurt (full fat and unflavored)

1 bunch of mint leaves (chopped)

1 bunch of coriander leaves (chopped)

5 green chilies (depending on how spicy you’d like it – slit down the middle)

4 tbsp of ginger and garlic paste

3 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 tbsp of ghee

2 red onions (chopped)

1 large tomato (chopped)

4 cups of basmati rice


1 ½ tbsp garam masala

2 ½ tbsp red chili powder

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 ½ tbsp coriander powder

1 ½ tbsp cumin powder

Whole spices

4 to 5 bay leaves

7 to 10 whole peppercorns

3 black cardamom

2 to 3 sticks of cinnamon (depending on size)

3 to 4 cloves

6 green cardamom

2 star anise

Salt to taste


Step 1 – Marinate the meat

Put the meat in a big bowl and add the whole spices, half of the chopped mint and coriander, ¾ of the fried onions, the green chilies, half of the ginger garlic paste, all the powdered spices, salt and the yogurt. Mix all the ingredients well and leave in the fridge for up to two hours.

Step 2 – Plug in the Instant Pot

Turn on the sauté mode (normal) on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and ghee. Wait for a couple of minutes. Once it is hot, add the onions and sauté till soft. Add the remaining ginger garlic paste. Stir. Then add the tomatoes. Mix well and let it sauté for a few minutes. Then add the meat mixture to the pot. Mix everything till it’s all well combined.

Step 3 – Sauté the meat

After you have given everything a good stir, turn the heat level from normal to low (still on sauté mode) and cover with an ordinary lid. Let it cook for 10 minutes. It should be a gravy sort of consistency. Turn off the Instant Pot.

Step 4 – Pressure cook the meat

Give the meat one good stir and close the lid on the Instant Pot. You should hear a beep noise when the lid is in place. Turn on pressure mode and cook on normal for 15 minutes.

Step 5 – Prepare the rice

Now you can cook the rice in the Instant Pot with the meat itself, but I like to keep the grainy consistency of the rice. For this par boil the rice till it’s 50% cooked and then drain the water.

Step 6 – Release the pressure from the Instant Pot

Once the 15 minutes has completed turn off the Instant Pot and release the remaining pressure from the valve. Only once there is no more pressure can you open the lid. Give the meat a stir. Ladle out some of the gravy to layer the rice and meat later.

Step 7 – Add the rice

Take half the par boiled rice and add it on top of the meat. Do not stir. Then add some of the gravy on top of the rice. Add the remaining rice and gravy. Add the remaining mint, coriander and fried onions on top.

Step 8 – Sauté once again

Turn on sauté mode (low heat), cover the pot with an ordinary lid and let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Turn off the Instant Pot and serve! Goes well with a side of raita.

Bon Appetit!

(In partnership with Instant Pot from Tavola)

You can purchase your very own Instant Pot from Tavola by clicking on this link.

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