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 19 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. 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.

  2. Neeta says

    Hi Ashley
    Thank you so much for making our lives easy with the Instant Pot with such yummy recipes

    I’d love to make this biryani tonite but only have chicken thighs-would that be ok? And do I keep it still at 22 mins?

    Thanks so much

  3. Allen James Jones says

    Dumb question (I’m a guy). Should the whole spices be kept together tied in a piece of cheesecloth? Thanks.

  4. Keith says

    5 stars
    The flavor is excellent! However, I am having the same issue as Kamna where my rice is still practically raw even after the 15-minute pre-soak and 22 minutes pressure cooking. I use ground beef instead of beef stew meat but that’s the only change I make. Might this be the culprit?

    I am using Lundberg brown basmati rice. I do have brown jasmine rice so I might try that next time and increase the soak and cook times.

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Keith, glad you like the flavor! As for the rice being raw – I do think in this case it’s because of the ground beef. Stew meat releases more liquid than ground meat – I typically use 1 ¼ cup water when making brown basmati rice, so if you use ground beef next time then I would suggest adding an extra ¼ cup of water. Now that I’m thinking about it, in Kamna’s case, since goat meat is leaner than beef and lamb, perhaps it didn’t release enough liquid too.

      • Keith says

        I added more water and it definitely helped! The rice was still a bit under-done but I used lean ground beef (it’s what I had) and I think this rice is old. I’ll try fattier beef and a new bag of rice, and hopefully with the extra water that’ll do the trick! Thank you!

  5. Kamna Kanesh says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley. Thank you for the amazing recipes using instant pot. I have been using instant pot for some Indian recipes but not everything. I am in the process of trying your recipes to save time. Today i tried brown rice biryani and used one cup brown rice with one cup water. I used goat meat with bones. I used 22 minutes pressure cook but after I opened the lid, the meat was tender but rice was still raw. Can you please suggest how do I fix that? I am not sure if you would be able to reply tonight but thought of trying. Thanks in advance

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kamna, I’m glad you’re liking my recipes. To answer your question, it’s odd that the meat was cooked and the rice was raw – I have no idea why that would happen. Have you had any trouble with that rice before? Please let me know if you were able to figure it out! If not, you can always try asking in my facebook group (Instant Pot for Indian Food) – sometimes it helps to see photos.

      • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

        Hi Kamna, after replying to another reader, I started thinking about your issue and I think that because goat meat is leaner than beef and lamb, perhaps not enough liquid was released from the goat meat in order to cook the rice. If you make this again with goat, try adding another ¼ cup of water. I know it’s been a while but I hope that’s helpful!

        • Kamna Kanesh says

          Hi Ashley. Thank you for your reply. I am sorry I didn’t see your reply in February. I kept checking after I left comment but then I thought i would receive some sort of notification from you in my email. Anyway, today I am again trying to make brown rice lamb biryani but with boneless lamb…hope same timings and same quantity work this time. Food chemistry always amazes me..trying to learn more. I am part of facebook and you are right, it does help with the photos..
          Once again thank you so much for amazing recipes. Last time I tried roghan lamb for dinner party and it turned out so good (my first time experience with cooking lamb at home) and every single person loved it.

          • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

            Hi Kamna, I thought my site sent email notifications too – sorry about that! I’ll have to look into it. So happy to hear that the Rogan Josh was a hit! Let me know how it goes this time with the lamb 🙂

  6. Pratibha says

    5 stars
    I’ve never thought brown rice could be so tasty. We recently shifted to brown rice and after trying this recipe I’m in love with that. This biryani recipe is super easy and yummy. Even my 4 year old fuzzy eater loves this recipe. Thank you Ashley for such amazing recipes. It makes my work so mush easier to put delicious food on table with little effort.

  7. Srishti Bhagat says

    5 stars
    Tripled the recipe and it came out perfect except the raisins were chewy. I think I’ll include them in the rice next time and fry only the cashews. Browned the meat in two batches to allow it all to brown properly. Every last bite got eaten among a family of 10.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Srishti, I’m so glad you liked it (minus the chewy raisins)! I’m guessing the raisins needed more time in the ghee to plump up? Cooking them in the rice should do the trick – that’s a good idea. Great to hear that your family of 10 enjoyed this!

  8. Alvina says

    Hey Ashley,

    I really want to make this dish, but what if I only have regular brown rice? How will that affect the cooking time? I am trying to work with what I have during this quarantine!

    I just want you to know I have shared your recipes to many people and your recipes have always worked so well for me. They have made me way more confident with Kerala/Indian cooking in the kitchen!

    Thanks so much, Alvina

      • Carolin says

        Hi there! I *love* every recipe I’ve come across this site, but I tried the same ratio of just California brown rice (because I didn’t have brown basmati) and it just didn’t seem like there was enough rice in the dish. The spices were great but overpowered the entire meal (for Keralan me, anyway, my sayyipp hubby seemed to enjoy). The flavors were good .. maybe the pre-soak wasn’t necessary or the water ratio was off?? In any case, I love the use of brown rice and will try again!

  9. Christine de la Cruz says

    5 stars
    Luckily, even in quarantine 🙂 I had all the ingredients (except I used ground chicken) WOW!!! So happy to have found this recipe and for it to be in the instant pot and using brown rice, I just can’t say enough great things about it, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. Lorna says

    5 stars

    I made this for the first time in my Pressure cooker (different make from the Instant Pot) the rice was a bit soggy. Could it be that I didn’t rinse it enough and it was to starchy? Also I think 1.5tsp if black pepper is too much of the wrong type of heat.

  11. Farah says

    Hi Ashley – by 1 cup of water do you mean a standard cup or the cup that comes with the Instant Pot Duo? Thanks

  12. Sheena Tan says

    I have tried your butter chicken recipe and it turned out amazing in my instant pot!
    I was just wondering..with this biryani recipe how many ml is 1 cup? I am using UK measurements.

  13. Tina says

    5 stars
    I doubled this recipe and had no issues. This was absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I recommend using the optional garnishes, it just adds more depth. I will make this again!

  14. Clara says

    Hi Ashley,

    I’ve really enjoyed the simplicity and flavor of the recipes of yours that I have tried. Will definitely be trying more in the future! You mentioned the possibility of developing a biryani recipe that includes the step of marinating the meat overnight so it can be cooked with white rice. I would love to try a recipe like that, especially with coconut milk marinade. Thanks for sharing all your delicious recipes!


  15. Kimberly says

    I made this with grass-fed beef stew meat. I made a half batch in a 3 quart instant pot. Unfortunately, the meat came out very tough. Could you suggest why this might be?
    Thank you,

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kimberly, I usually make this with grassfed beef stew meat too so I don’t think* it would have to do with that… the only thing I can think of is that perhaps it has something to do with the 3-quart? Did you halve the quantity of the beef too? And you kept the cook time the same, right?

  16. Lynn says

    5 stars
    How serendipitous to find your website while searching for recipes to use up a pound of beef in my refrigerator. Thankfully I had all of the other ingredients (except for the mint, ghee & cilantro), and in no time I had dinner made. The only change I made was to add a bit more turmeric and about 1/8 cup water. The water wasn’t necessary, it’s just a personal preference to have some sauce. I warmed up the golden raisins in a tiny bit of salted butter. This is definitely one I’ll be keeping for family and company. Thanks! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Lynn, so happy you found my website and made this recipe! Thank you for letting me know how it turned out for you 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think of any other recipes you try!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Vicki, the brown is used because it has a longer cook time and so does the beef/lamb. I plan to share a white rice version soon too but it will be a bit different as I’ll have to marinate the meat in order to get it to cook in a faster time.

  17. Zion says

    Hi Ashley,

    I’d like to try this recipe but wondering if you have a recommendation for brown basmati rice brand?


    • My Heart Beets says

      I typically buy brown basmati rice from Trader Joes 🙂 It’s good but seems pretty similar to other brands I’ve tried. If I find a brand I love, I’ll be sure to update the post!

  18. Leon says

    Hi Ashley,

    I would like to try this recipe out but have a few questions.

    The recipe asks for 1cup water under the “Ground Spices” section. I am assuming this is for cooking the rice. Is that much water enough?

    I don’t have an Instant Pot but do have a Tefal Neo5 Secure pressure cooker. I am assuming the recipe and cook time would still remain the same right? Do you see any changes that you would recommend if any?


    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Leon, yes 1 cup of water is enough – the meat releases some water as well. Is your pressure cooker an electric pressure cooker? If so then it should work 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  19. Deepa M says

    I was really looking forward to making this. Flavours are great but the resulting biryani was too liquidy- what could have been the issue?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Deepa, I’d love to help troubleshoot if I can. Did you add more meat by any chance? If so that could have been the issue as meat releases water. If that’s not the issue, please let me know if you made any other changes to the recipe…

  20. Puja Khanna says

    Ashley Singh Thomas, for your brown rice goat biryani, how long would you pressure cook the goat if the meat was on the bone? I thought 45 min like your kerala goat curry may be too much?

  21. Elton says

    Hello! I’m a fan of a few of your other recipes and excited to try out biryani! I was wondering about increasing portion size. If i want double the amount of food, can I just double all the ingredients but keep the pressure cook time the same? Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Elton, glad to hear you like my recipes! I haven’t tried doubling this but I think it’d be okay – and yes, I’d keep the cook time the same. Please let me know how it turns out for you!

  22. Maneesha says

    Hi Ashley! I tried your kheema recipe numerous times, with turkey, chicken, and lamb – all SLAM DUNK SUCCESSES!! I love your recipes and i LOVE your cookbook! I bought three of them – one for myself, then for my mother, and then for my cousin!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Maneesha, I am sure it’ll taste great with ground lamb! Also, if you have my cookbook you can also use ground lamb in my keema pulao recipe! Let me know if you try either recipe!

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