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

4.97 from 29 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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Recipe Rating


  1. Chriselle says

    4 stars
    The recipe was divine and I’ve bookmarked it.

    I’m not sure about the cook settings as I have a different instant cooker – Phillips but also it didn’t feel long enough for lamb. I pressure cooked the lamb for 15 and did the rice for another 15, which is the standard rice setting with instant release and it was perfect. Just sharing incase anyone wanted to try with another cooker.

  2. Vess says

    It didn’t work – after 6 mins the rice on top was cooked but when I mixed it there was still water in there and lots of uncooked rice underneath – not sure the meat was cooked so I had to put on again on rice setting. Was really excited for this to work

    • IP User says

      The natural release step is a vital part of the cook time. It sounds like you skipped it?

      6 minute timer on IP (which excludes the time it takes to come up to temp) then after the timer goes off you wait for natural release (estimated 30-35 minutes).

      So you are looking at a total cook time from the minute you close the lid of around 50 minutes give or take.

  3. Sheela says

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. Bonnie says

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

  7. 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,

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. Anika says

    Thanks for the recipe it’s delicious ! I’d love to make it for a gathering of 10. I can double the quantities but what would the cooking time be if I did this?

  13. Sam says

    5 stars
    Simple and very tasty. Well worth using top quality ingredients but even with the shortcut of ginger-garlic paste this was superb. I need to buy some top quality basmati or adjust my water to 1.5 cups, the rice was not as dry as it should have been. But I am definitely making this again and again.

  14. Natasha Dmello says

    5 stars
    Tried it today, after running back and forth with 2 little boys! It wad fantastic! My older boy is a fussy eater and he declared that it was the best biryani he has ever had.
    Few changes to cater for my tribe :
    Added an extra cup of rice and water
    Used off cuts of lamb, so had bones in it.
    Reduces salt to cater to my 7 month old.

    Your recipe was perfect!

  15. Dahlia says

    Opps I wrote it wrong 🤣 I wanted to know if the cooking time be the same if I use lamb but with bones . Thank you ☺️

  16. SIMEON PIRES says

    5 stars
    First time biryani maker….yes,tried your recipe lamb biryani on my IP, you boosted my confidence in my first attempt and it was a success.The meat was perfect so was the rice.
    I am from Goa, live in Canada. The meat was Australian from Costco.
    Will try some other recipes too.
    Thank you.

  17. Anita says

    Hi, this sounds amazing and I definitely want to try it! Just wondering, how many does this dish serve? Thank you!

  18. Preetha says

    5 stars
    My husband tried this yesterday for a new year’s eve dinner! It was awesome. Thanks for the recipe. We followed the recipe except for two minor things. For one, we put the mint leaves while the meat and rice were being cooked. Just a personal preference. We added the cilantro at the end as garnish. The other adjustment was that we just let it naturally release and de-pressurize for more than an hour. That way, we just let it sit and the spices seeped through nicely!

  19. Roshini James says

    Hi Ashley,
    If I wash lamb right before, would water from the lamb be too much water for the recipe? How do you make sure there isn’t too much water after cleaning the meat?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Roshini, I don’t rinse meat before cooking it. I used to do this many years ago, but after doing some reading, it seems like an unnecessary step – and one that can potentially spread more bacteria. I completely understand wanting to wash it though as I was taught to do that. If you do, I’d be sure to let it dry before using.

  20. Gardi says

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. Would love to try this but am so new to instant pot cooking.

    Are you cooking lamb separately before adding rice? Or is everything (lamb+rice) cooked together in IP for 6 minutes only? Sorry, I am a bit confused when you say add lamb to IP and then “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)”. Is it cooking for 20 minutes in IP or just sitting there (not cooking)?

  21. Sheetal Vadodaria says

    Hi, I made this today but the instant pot stayed on and didn’t do the 6mins count down or anything and actually burnt the bottom of it:( do you know why this would have happened? Not enough water? It didn’t even give me burn warning. Otherwise it came out nice! Thanks

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sheetal, I’m not sure but if the pot didn’t reach pressure it sounds like it may not have sealed properly or perhaps the valve wasn’t closed all the way? Could it have been one of those two things? Also, just to be sure – did you use a 6 qt (all of my recipes are tested using that size)?

  22. Sam says

    5 stars
    This was excellent and incredibly easy. I only had half a pound of fatty lamb chops but added 1.5 lb venison leg meat and the lamb flavor came through fine. Venison cubes were perfectly done in 6 minutes but I marinated 4 hours. I will have to try with a better basmati, I have a cheap everyday basmati but this dish deserves the best. Shabash!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sam, I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know how the biryani turned out 🙂 Give Aahu Barah basmati a try – I have yet to find something better. Also, I appreciate the shabash lol!

  23. Saima says

    Can we use bone in meat from leg of lamb? And to halve the recipe, do we just cut all ingredients, including water amount in half, but cook for the same time of 6 minutes?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Saima, I haven’t tried it this way so I’m not sure, sorry! My guess would be to do what you said but I’ve only tested the recipe as written. If you try, please let us know how it goes 🙂

  24. Lilly says

    If goat meat needs more time to cook, you can cook the meat first, do quick release and then add rice/water on top for final 6 mins. That’s how I make chicken biryani currently but only put enough water to cover the rice (6 mins chicken, QR, add rice/water, cook for 6 mins. — chicken end up so soft).

  25. PROTIMA says

    5 stars
    This turned out really well. Delicious. Do you know if the same recipe would work if I replaced the lamb with chicken on the bone?

  26. RS says

    5 stars
    This is by far the best IP lamb recipe I have tried. It was amazing – entire family loved it. A huge thank you for this recipe. I have a question regarding yoghurt – I am trying to cut back dairy – can this be replaced with anything else?

    • My Heart Beets says

      That’s so great to hear! Thanks for letting me know how this turned out for you and how much your family enjoyed it 🙂 I would think that dairy-free yogurt would work as a substitute but haven’t tried this myself yet. I’ll add this to my to-do list but if you try before I do, please let me know!

instant pot pour and cook chicken biryani

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