Instant Pot Pour and Cook Lamb Biryani


instant pot kacchi lamb dum biryani

A pour and cook recipe for lamb biryani?! It’s possible and it’s amazing!

Mix raw lamb with yogurt and spices and put it at the bottom of an instant pot. Add rice and water on top. Press a button and cook.

That’s it.

The result: tender pieces of lamb with perfectly cooked, separate grains of basmati rice.

instant pot kacchi lamb dum biryani

What is Lamb Biryani?

There are so, so many different types of biryani out there. Every region, heck every household, makes its own version of this dish.

What many traditional recipes seem to have in common though, is that they’re all fussy.

Cooking biryani is way more complicated than it needs to be. I’ve watched family members spend hours making this dish, using lots of pots to partially cook the rice or meat then layering and baking it or cooking it together over low heat. So much fuss.

A Fuss-Free Instant Pot Biryani

I certainly have an appreciation for traditional cooking methods and doubt my streamlined recipe can surpass your great grandma’s beloved biryani, but there’s a time and place for that. That place is not here on my blog. Mom of two here. 🙋🏽‍♀️

I do not have six hours of spare time to spend making biryani. You know what I do have? 5 minutes.

So that’s what I’m working with. This pour and cook biryani recipe requires just 5 minutes of hands-on time.

You know that proverb, “necessity is the mother of invention”? Well, what’s necessary to me, a mother of two littles, is to feed my family healthy, homemade Indian food while reserving what limited energy I have left to play dinosaur chase with my two little boys. 🦕🦖👦🏽👶🏽

(Dinosaur chase… you know, when you pretend to be a dinosaur and roar at your children while they run/waddle away from you while squealing with both fear and delight).

“Your detailed instructions were absolutely easy to follow and the Biriyani came out soo well. I am so very glad that I stumbled upon your recipe last evening! Thank you.”

instant pot kacchi lamb dum biryani

How to Cook Lamb and Rice at the Same Time

Prior to coming up with this recipe, I shared another lamb biryani recipe which calls for brown basmati rice. Brown basmati rice requires a longer cook time which works well with red meat because both the rice and meat can cook in the same amount of time.

The thing is, I also want a lamb biryani using white basmati rice. So I came up with this one, which calls for briefly marinating the meat with yogurt and lemon juice (both are acidic), which help to tenderize the meat. We’re also cutting the meat into bite-sized (1-inch) pieces. This is how we can get away with a 6 minute cook time with a natural release.

The natural release takes around half an hour, which is also why I suggest rinsing the basmati rice rather than soaking it beforehand. I use and love aahu barah basmati rice for my biryani recipes. The type/brand of basmati that you use can make a big difference – this brand keeps its shape, remains separate, and is wonderfully fragrant.

Suggested Items

Can I use Goat Meat instead of Lamb?

Now, I know some of you might be wondering if you can substitute goat meat for lamb. I haven’t tried but my guess would be no. Goat meat requires a longer cook time than lamb. I highly doubt goat meat will work in this recipe.

instant pot kacchi lamb dum biryani

I hope you love this fuss-free biryani. I hope you think it’s the best biryani you’ve ever had. One thing is for sure, it’ll be the easiest biryani you’ll ever make.

Instant Pot Pour and Cook Lamb Biryani

instant pot kacchi lamb dum biryani

Instant Pot Pour and Cook Lamb Biryani

5 from 24 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat cut into 1-inch bite-sized pieces


  • 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1-2 green chilis minced, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  • 2 cups long-grain basmati rice rinsed (we’re cooking longer, no need to soak)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped, to test
  • ¼ cup mint chopped, to taste

Ghee-Coated Cashews and Raisins:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • cup of halved cashews
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins


  • Add the lamb and all of the ingredients listed under “marinade” together in the bottom of the instant pot and mix well. Let this sit on the counter for 20 minutes. (20 minutes is enough time for the lamb to marinate and it will also allow the meat to come to room temperature).
  • Spread the rinsed rice so that it is in a thin layer overtop the marinated meat. Pour the water into the pot, pushing down the rice if needed so that it is submerged. Do not mix.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure (this will take approx. 30-35 minutes). 
  • Mix well then sprinkle mint, cilantro, and ghee-coated cashews and raisins before serving.

To make ghee-coated cashews and raisins:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons ghee in a small pot over medium heat, add ⅓ cup of halved cashews, stir-fry for a minute or until lightly golden, then add 2 tablespoons raisins and stir-fry until they plump up.


  • You can marinate the lamb longer if you’d like – just let it come to room temp for 20 minutes prior to adding the rice and cooking.
  • You cannot substitute goat meat for lamb. Goat meat requires a longer cook time than lamb.
  • I use and love aahu barah basmati rice for my biryani recipes. The type/brand of basmati that you use can make a big difference – this brand keeps its shape, remains separate, and is wonderfully fragrant.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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instant pot kacchi lamb dum biryani

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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. Sheela says

    Super easy and very tasty! 6 minutes resulted in slightly mushy rice, but that was perfectly fine for our house.

  2. Vish Vishvanath says

    5 stars
    Super recipe, fantastic results from so little effort, thank you so much!
    I might leave the lemon juice out next time, the acid from the yogurt and the minced garlic and ginger – from the jar!

  3. Kieran says

    I’m so beyond disappointed with this. I followed everything to the letter. The lamb turned out beautifully cooked but the rice was absolutely horrific. pastey gluey and wet, waaayyyy too salty and wayy too much ginger/garlic.

    I specifically bought the best basmati extra long rice i could find, and spent $40aud on 1kg (2lb) lamb.

    We’re now sitting here picking out chunks of meat to eat with bread….this is not biryani to me, at all.

    I’m hoping the error was on my part given how many people seem to have good results with this recipe (and why I decided to try it).

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kieran, I’m not sure what went wrong here, did you use the same amount of rice and water? I also highly recommend the brand of rice I link to in the post – it’s called Aahu Barah and the rice always turns out perfect.

  4. Bonnie says

    Fabulous never-fail recipe! Many thanks.
    A bit too much rice, but guess that amount is needed to cover the lamb.

  5. Chrissie says

    I love your instant pot lamb biryani and chicken biryani. They are both winners with the family! The recipes are so simple and delicious…first time I’ve made biryani. No need to go to indian restaurant now!
    Do you have a recipe for instant pot lamb kofta biryani?


    5 stars
    Hi Ashley. Thank you for the brilliant recipes. It is honestly a work-saver and time-saver. I was wondering if I could use my marinated frozen meat pieces instead of freshly marinated meat. would using the frozen meat increase the instant pot time at all? Thank you,

  7. Ros Marvin says

    Hi, I’ve made this twice and really love it. I’d like to make it again but I’m looking for a recipe I can put on to cook them leave on keep warm for a couple of hours. Do you know if this biryani works if left on keep warm, or does it need to be served straight after the immediate release? Thanks!

  8. Indi says

    5 stars
    Your detailed instructions were absolutely easy to follow and the Biriyani came out soo well.
    I am so very glad that I stumbled upon your recipe last evening! Thank you.

  9. Ahana says

    Hi Ashley, I really wanted this recipe to work as I’m lazy (efficient) and not having to cook the meat separately sounded like a dream. However my rice came out a bit clumpy, and the lamb flavour was a bit flat for my liking. Any tips? I didn’t use the specific basmati type just long-grain basmati, and maybe my yogurt was a bit runny. Maybe I just like the browned meat pakki biryani? Do you think whole spices make a difference and have used powders for speed, or do you think there isn’t much difference?

    Another tip for people reading this – don’t substitute ginger garlic paste without frying it off first, I could taste the raw ginger taste!

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