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Lamb Dum Biryani – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Lamb Biryani instant potLamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where marinated meat is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice. Meat is marinated with bold Indian spices and yogurt. It is then assembled in the cooking pot and rice is layered on top  along with some more aromatics like fried onions and chopped herbs. The pot is then sealed to create a steam cooking environment, called Dum. The result is a masterpiece more than a dish!

Cooking biryani is an acquired skill! There are two ways Biryani is prepared: the Kachchi (raw) Biryani, and the Pakki (cooked) Biryani.

The Kachchi (raw) biryani is prepared with meat marinated with yogurt and spices overnight and then top with layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice and cooked on dum (steam), which is created by sealing the pot with wet dough. This is a time consuming process where time and cooking temperature needs to be monitored and adjusted a few times to avoid over or under cooking the meat.

Lamb Biryani instant potPressure cooking makes the process much simpler and takes the guess work out. In my electric pressure cooker, The Instant Pot, I am able to mimic the “dum” cooking environment (steam cooking), and cook in a controlled temperature setting, so the result is consistent each time. Sharing my tried and trusted, “family Biryani Connoisseurs approvedLamb Dum Biryani recipe! It is best served warm, with a Cucumber Raita (cucumber-yogurt dip) and/or a garden salad drizzled with fresh lime vinaigrette.

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.

The same recipe can be made using a stove-top pressure cooker too. I used to make it in Hawkins Pressure Cooker before I got the Instant Pot. Simply follow all steps from 1-3. Cook on high pressure for 1 whistle, reduce the heat to medium and 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. A helpful tip for stove cooking is, placing the cooker on a flat griddle or a skillet for the remainder of the cooking after it reaches pressure. That ensures that the meat doesn’t burn at the bottom.

Lamb Dum Biryani - Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 10 minutes Manual, NPR + Marination time


  • 1 lb. lamb leg steak, cut into 3/4-1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves of garlic ground together)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 3-4 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom
  • Biryani
  • 1 cup Extra Long Grain Basmati Rice, rinsed and drained (Soaked for 20 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup Fried Onions
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt for sprinkling over rice (adjust to taste)
  • 3/4 -1 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon Saffron (depends on liquid content of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste etc.)



Prep: Rinse and soak Basmati rice for 20-30 minutes. Keep aside.


Marinate Meat: Combine all ingredients listed under "marinade". Add lamb pieces, sliced onions and peppers, and coat well with 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.


Biryani: Add marinated lamb meat in the inner pot and spread it around the bottom of the pot 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. Add water with saffron. Press down gently so that the rice get submerged.


Close lid. Turn Vent to Sealing position. Cook on Manual (High) for 10 minutes. Wait for natural pressure release (NPR) for 15 minutes. Open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Serve warm with Raita (Cucumber-Yogurt Dip)!

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  • Reply
    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
      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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