Lamb Dum Biryani in Instant Pot

November 21, 2017 (Updated: August 3, 2019) By Aneesha |

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An easy Instant Pot recipe for Lamb Dum Biryani, an extremely popular meat and rice casserole from the Indian subcontinent. Marinated meat is layered with nutty basmati rice, flavored with aromatic spices like garam masala and saffron, and steam cooked to perfection.

 Lamb Biryani served in a copper bowl

Simplified One-Pot Recipe for Lamb Dum Biryani

Since biryani is a slow-cooked dish and involves multiple steps, it is typically served on special occasions. 

Everyone in my family is such a die-hard biryani fan, that we didn’t think it was fair to have to wait for special occasions to have this delicious meal. 

I simplified my original recipe and the cooking process and successfully converted this into a one-pot meal, while maintaining the same slow-cooked infused flavors.

Two Styles of Cooking Biryani

There are two ways of making biryani, Kachhi Biryani or Pakki Biryani. The ingredients are pretty much the same but cooking styles are different.

Kachhi Biryani

In Kachhi Biryani, pronounced as ‘Kuh-chee’ Biryani, the meat is marinated with spices and yogurt overnight.  Basmati rice is cooked partially and then layered with the meat, and steam cooked (dum), which is created by sealing the pot with wet dough. 

Pakki Biryani

Pakki Biryani, pronounced as ‘Puck-ee’ Biryani is a three-step cooking process. First, the rice is cooked. Simultaneously, the meat curry is cooked, then the two are steamed together so the flavors infuse.

Instant pot Lamb dum Biryani / pressure cooker Lamb Biryani by Spice Cravings. Lamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where meat marinated in bold Indian spices is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice and aromatics like onions & herbs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #Instant pot Lamb dum Biryani / pressure cooker Lamb Biryani by Spice Cravings. Lamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where meat marinated in bold Indian spices is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice and aromatics like onions & herbs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

Using Long Grain Basmati Rice for Biryani

I like making Biryani with Extra Long Grain Basmati Rice, but any long grain rice would work in this recipe.  The aroma and nuttiness of the basmati rice compliments the warm spices amazingly well.

How to Make Instant Pot Lamb Biryani

I start by marinating cubed lamb in yogurt with garam masala, paprika and ground cardamom. 

Then, I layer the meat in the pressure cooker and spread rinsed and drained basmati rice on top. 

I top that with aromatics like fried onions, chopped cilantro and mint, and pressure cook it in the Instant Pot.

Pressure cooking the lamb and rice in the Instant Pot or any electric pressure cooker, helps to creates a steam cooking environment, called “Dum”, which results is a perfect harmony of infused flavors!   

Lamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where meat marinated in bold Indian spices is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice and aromatics like onions & herbs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

Using Homemade Garam Masala in this recipe

In this Biryani recipe I use the popular Indian spice-blend, called garam masala, for flavoring the lamb and rice. 

I like to make my own garam masala blend.  It takes under 15 minutes to make enough to last me a month, and the end results are so worth the little effort.  Try this easy recipe for Homemade Garam Masala.

It’s perfectly ok to use store-bought garam masala. But since those sit on the shelves for long, they lose a little bit of flavor over time. I like to add an extra 1/4-1/2 teaspoon more of the store-brought brand to this recipe.

Making Fried Onions for Lamb Dum Biryani

Fried onions are a huge contributor of flavor in any Biryani recipe.  Typically, I make it at home, but that takes a bit of time. 

When I’m short on time, I use store-bought fried onions from Trader Joe’s and those work great for Biryani.  And for times when I am preparing them at home, I use one of these two ways:

Oven Method

This is a nice hands-off way of making fried onions.  I use this method, and while the onions are cooking, I do the prep-work for Biryani.

  • Alternatively, I line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I toss thinly sliced onions with melted ghee or oil on that. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F and cook the onions for about 20 minutes, till they are golden brown. 

Instant Pot or Skillet Method

  • Slice 2 medium onions thinly. 
  • Heat the Instant pot on SAUTE (high), or, a wide skillet on medium high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons ghee or oil and add the onions. 
  • Stir every 3-4 minutes till the onions get golden brown, which takes around 12-14 minutes depending on the size of the cooking pot.  The wider the surface area, the quicker they brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.

Make a Meal: What to Serve with Lamb Biryani

Lamb dum biryani is best served warm, with a Cucumber Raita (cucumber-yogurt dip) and/or a garden salad drizzled with fresh lime vinaigrette. Get the recipe here.

Indian Cucumber Yoghurt Dip called Cucumber Raita garnished with mint leaves.
Indian Cucumber Yogurt Dip called Cucumber Raita

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Lamb Biryani Recipe

You can make this lamb biryani recipe using a stove-top pressure cooker too.  I used to make it in Hawkins Pressure Cooker before I got the Instant Pot. Here’s how:

  • Simply follow all steps from 1-3. 
  • Cook on high pressure for 1 whistle, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Continue to cook for 8 minutes (this time may vary depending on the heat level of your burner). 
  • Turn off the heat.  Let it cool for 15 minutes or till the pressure releases naturally.  Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

Pro-tip for preventing the rice and meat from burning at the bottom

Stove-top Pressure Cooker: Once the cooker reaches pressure, I reduce the heat to medium. Then, I place a flat griddle or skillet on the stove. I place the cooker on top of that. This ensures that the meat cooks evenly, and doesn’t burn at the bottom.

Instant Pot: Maintaining some liquid in the pot before closing it for pressure cooking is key to preventing the burn message. The yogurt and meat generate enough juices that are sufficient for pressure cooking.

But if you feel that the liquid is not enough, you can add 1/2 a cup of water.

More Instant Pot Biryani Recipes from my Kitchen

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Instant pot Lamb dum Biryani / pressure cooker Lamb Biryani by Spice Cravings. Lamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where meat marinated in bold Indian spices is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice and aromatics like onions & herbs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

Lamb Dum Biryani – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

An easy Instant Pot recipe for Lamb Dum Biryani, an extremely popular meat and rice casserole from the Indian subcontinent. Marinated meat is layered with nutty basmati rice, flavored with aromatic spices like garam masala and saffron, and steam cooked to perfection.
4.8 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 490kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lamb leg steak boneless, cut into 3/4-1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced (optional)

Marinade

Biryani

  • 1 cup basmati rice (extra long grain)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup fried onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt for sprinkling over rice. Adjust to taste.
  • 3/4-1 cup water : use warm water and adjust based on liquid content of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste etc.
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron (added to 2-3 tbsp. of warm water)

Instructions

  • Prep: Rinse and soak basmati rice for 20-30 minutes. Warm 2-3 tbsp of water and add saffron to it. Keep aside. In the meantime, marinate lamb. 
  • Marinate Meat: Combine greek yogurt, ghee, lime, ginger, garlic and all the spices for the marinade. Add lamb pieces, sliced onions and peppers, and toss well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. If you're planning in advance, you can marinate the meat for up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Prep the Biryani: Add marinated lamb meat in the cooking pot of the instant pot and spread it evenly. Add rinsed and drained Basmati rice (Long grain rice) on top and spread it evenly. Sprinkle salt. Top with fried onions and chopped cilantro. Warm the water, add saffron to it, and add to the instant pot. Press down gently so that the rice get submerged. Don't mix. 
  • Pressure Cook: Close lid. Turn Vent to Sealing position. Cook on Manual (High) for 6-8 minutes, depending on how thick the lamb pieces are. Wait for natural pressure release (NPR) for 10 minutes. Open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Let the Biryani rest for 5 minutes, uncovered. This lets the excess moisture escape.  Serve warm with Raita (Cucumber-Yogurt Dip)!

Stove-top Pressure Cooker

  • Simply follow all steps from 1-3 using your stove-top pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 1 whistle.   Reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook for 8 minutes (this time may vary depending on the heat level of your burner). 
  • Turn off the heat. Let it cool for 15 minutes or till the pressure releases naturally. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

Video

Notes

This recipes includes roughly 30 minutes of soaking time for rice while marinating the lamb.  If you want to skip that, you can make this recipe in 35-40 minutes.
If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1082mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: instant pot dum biryani recipe, Instant pot lamb biryani, lamb biryani recipe, Rice
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    james
    July 26, 2019 at 12:03 am

    5 stars
    Thank You Very much its made my day. i really loved this recipe finally i am having Yummy biryani for the biryani lovers i can suggest you the best indian restaurants in chelmsford
    Bawarchi Indian cuisine 313 Littleton Rd, Chelmsford, MA 01824 Ph : (978) 770-2777

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      July 26, 2019 at 2:48 am

      Hi James, Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Do try the Chicken Biryani sometime, it is packed with authentic flavors. Thanks again for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

  • Reply
    Kate Lawless
    March 14, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Aneesha, I just made your recipe and wow! The spice blend is awesome. My husband and I really loved it. Would you recommend a pot-in-pot method for this recipe? Or a way to make the recipe not as saucy? Thinking the lamb could be cooked more tandoori style, perhaps have the sauce and rice separate? My husband isn’t a sauce fan (but I am!)

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      March 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Kate, I am so glad you enjoyed the flavors in this recipe, it’s one of our favorites 🙂 Mine doesn’t come out saucy, you can see the texture in the video. But let’s figure out what added extra moisture to yours. Let me ask you a couple of questions, they’ll help me figure out the problem. 1) Did you QR or NPR? 2)How much water did you use? 3)Did you use greek yogurt or regular? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Melinda
    February 23, 2019 at 10:33 am

    If I double the recipe (2lbs meat, double rice) would I double the water too, do you think?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      February 23, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Hi Melinda, Yes, you would double the water as well. Hope you love it!

  • Reply
    Anu
    January 26, 2019 at 9:12 am

    I wonder if you ever made this with cauliflower rice instead of basmati? I’m trying to cut down on those carbs. Will try myself today and let you know how it turned out.

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      January 26, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Anu, I wouldn’t recommending cooking cauli-rice ‘with’ the lamb, since it will turn mushy by the time the lamb cooks. I would suggest making the lamb curry and serving it with sautéed cauli-rice. I’s love to hear if you try it.

  • Reply
    Oliver
    October 16, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Mmmmmmmmmmm yummy , Must be a wonderful dish full of flavour. Your pot looks beautiful and I wish I was a guest at your party 😉
    I love any kind of Biriyani. want that right now! 😃 It looks incredible. I’m going to try it. Love a new recipe – thanks. 💚

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      October 16, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Oliver, thank you! It’s delicious, I hope you try it sometime! Would love to hear how you liked it. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Kokub
    December 5, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Hi there; I’m new to the blog and always looking for easier ways to make Indian food so thank you! Can you make this dish the same way with goat meat?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      December 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Kokub, These are all family favorite recipes that I have simplified over time- so thank you for appreciating! Goat meat takes longer to cook (almost another 15 minutes), the white rice would be mush by then. Goat cooking time matches with brown rice, but I haven’t found my perfect variation yet- last one was a little wet. I’ll keep working on it, if you’re interested, you can subscribe to this blog and you’ll get notified when I post that.

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