Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb


Get ready to eat this mouthwatering, aromatic brown rice beef/lamb biryani. Tender pieces of meat and perfectly cooked, springy grains of rice are coated in a perfect blend of spices.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

Before getting an instant pot, I’d only make biryani on special occasions. Now, we can make this one-pot brown rice and meat dish on a whim.

I shared a recipe for chicken biryani a while back, but have gotten many requests for beef biryani and lamb biryani. I decided to use brown basmati rice in this recipe because it cooks perfectly in the same amount of time as either beef or lamb.

If you read my post on cooking brown basmati rice in an Instant Pot then you already know it takes 22 minutes. Thankfully, you can cook beef and lamb cubes in that amount of time as well. The result: tender morsels of meat mixed in nutty brown rice.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with my Instant Pot, especially when it comes to Indian cooking. In fact, I wrote a blog post with 5 Reasons Why Instant Pot is Perfect for Indian cooking. The main reason: what traditionally took several pots and pans plus several hours to cook can now be made in a single pot!

Biryani is an example of one of those recipes that used to take hours to make, a dish reserved for special occasions. Now we eat some type of biryani almost weekly – sometimes we’ll have shrimp biryani and other weeks we’ll enjoy egg biryani, keema biryani or veggie biryani.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

Some background on biryani: there are two main methods to making biryani: pakki biryani and kacchi biryani.

With pakki biryani, you cook the meat separately and partly cook the rice then you have to layer them together then cook the whole thing together. A lot of steps, right? The only reason I would ever use this method is if I have leftover curry that I want to use (like my leftover goat curry biryani).

With kacchi biryani, you marinate the meat for a long time then cook it with the rice over low heat.

Then there’s my method. Skip the marinating and cook both the meat and rice together in ONE pot in an electric pressure cooker. This new method is clearly my favorite one. You get all the same flavor of traditional lamb biryani (or beef biryani) with the least amount of work.

That said, my method works with brown rice because the cook time for the meat and the rice works out perfectly.

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this dish! If you love it, then be sure to check out my Instant Pot Cookbook: Indian Food Under Pressure for more Indian recipes!

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

5 from 21 reviews
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Servings 4


  • 1 cup brown basmati rice soaked 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Whole Spices

  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaf
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pound beef stew meat or lamb the meat should be cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger

Ground Spices

  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup water

Optional Garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • cup cashews halved
  • Cilantro leaves chopped
  • Mint leaves chopped


  • Soak the brown basmati rice in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button, adjust the heat to high, and add the oil to the pot. Allow it a minute to heat up, then add the whole spices and stir. Once they begin to sizzle, add the meat and the onions. Stir-fry for 5-7 minutes, or until all sides of the meat have browned.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, ground spices and stir, then add the rice and water to the pot. Give everything a good stir.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 22 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Discard the whole spices, add garnish if desired and serve.

Optional Garnish:

  • While the rice is cooking, melt ghee in a pan over low-medium heat on the stovetop. Add the cashews and raisins and stir-fry until the cashews begin to turn golden.
  • Sprinkle the ghee-coated cashews and raisins along with the cilantro and mint on top of the biryani.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Instant Pot Brown Rice Biryani with Beef or Lamb

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Merv says

    I adhered to all the instructions and timings, but found that more than one cup of water is needed
    M, otherwise you are like to end up with a mess stuck to the bottom of the pressure cooker. It was still edible, however a bit of a disappointing outcome. I used brown basmati rice.

  2. Sonia says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    I tried your beef biryani recipe today after making your chicken biryani multiple times. Love both of them! I’ve a quick question, usually all rice or pasta dish IP recipes say not to stir the ingredients. This one says to ‘give everything a good stir.’ I didn’t, for fear of spoiling it. It came out tasty. Can you please explain?

    Also, did you try to make this recipe with regular basmati rice? If so, what’s the time required? I prefer regular basmati to brown one.

    Thank you so much!


    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sonia! I’m so glad you tried and liked this recipe and that you like the chicken biryani too. 🙂 For this recipe, I think because of the brown basmati, I wanted to make sure it was fully submerged – but even if you didn’t stir, as long as it’s submerged it’ll be fine. For a more authentic biryani, you wouldn’t stir – so you’d end up with layers of meat and rice, but that’s up to you. As for making this recipe with regular basmati, I haven’t tried because I believe it would overcook with such a long cook time. I haven’t experimented with a shorter cook time so I’m not sure how it’d go.

  3. Barb says

    5 stars
    I made this with lamb sausage, and it was delicious. I have to say it was too salty though – probably it didn’t help that I used sausage. I love that it used brown rice. I thought one cup of water wouldn’t be enough but it was the right amount.

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