Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
hamburger overlay

Indian lamb biryani recipe

This lamb biryani recipe makes a delicious, well-balanced dish that brings together a range of North Indian spices and can be altered to your preferred heat. This is a versatile dish that brings the taste of India to you.


Serves 6

Nutritional values

Per serving: energy 315 kcal • protein 30g • fat 8g • carbohydrate 31g • fibre 7g • salt 407mg • cholesterol 83mg

  • 150 ml fat free plain yogurt (3/5 c)
  • 30 ml garlic and ginger paste (2 t)
  • 60 ml fresh coriander leaves, chopped (4 t) or 30 ml (2 t) dried coriander leaves
  • 500 g extra lean lamb, cubed with fat removed
  • 125 g brown lentils, uncooked (1/2 c) or 300 ml cooked or canned lentils (1 10 oz can, drained)
  • 3.75 ml salt (3/4 t), divided
  • 125 ml basmati rice (1/2 c)
  • 2.5 ml turmeric (1/2 t)
  • 5 ml cumin seeds (jeera) (1 t) or 10 ml ground cumin (2 t), divided
  • 6 whole cloves or 3.75 ml ground cloves (3/4 t), divided
  • 4 cardamom pods or 5 ml ground cardamom (1 t), divided
  • 15 m oil, sunflower or canola (1 t)
  • 2 large onions, sliced or chopped
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or 5 ml ground cinnamon (1 t)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped

How to make it:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, garlic and ginger paste, and coriander leaves.
  2. Add the lamb and mix well. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the lentils in 375 ml (1 1/2 c) of water and 1.25 ml (1/4 t) salt until softened but still firm, about 45 minutes.
  4. In another saucepan, cook the rice, turmeric, 1.25 ml (1/4 t) salt and half of the cloves, cumin and cardamom in 375 ml (1 1/2 c) of water until done, about 30 minutes.
  5. Once cooked, mix rice and lentils together and set aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onion, cinnamon, and remaining half of the cloves, cumin and cardamom until golden brown. Stir continuously, particularly if using ground spices.
  7. Add the marinated lamb and mix well. Add the chopped tomatoes and remaining 1.25 ml (1/4 t) salt, and cook covered for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) while the biryani meat mixture is cooking.
  8. Place alternate layers of the rice and lentil mixture and lamb in a deep casserole dish, starting and ending with rice and lentils. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. If desired, serve with assorted sambals (hot sauce) and salads or sliced banana in lemon juice, diced tomato and onion, and chutney.

Additional tips

Garlic and ginger paste is available at most supermarkets in the fresh vegetable section.

Try cooking double the amount of rice and lentils and freeze half for the next time you prepare this dish.

This dish is traditionally made with whole spices, but using ground spices makes a dish that is just as delicious.

Variation: To shorten the cooking time, cook the marinated lamb and tomatoes uncovered for the last 15 minutes (step 7) to thicken the gravy. Top the rice and lentils with the lamb mixture and serve immediately.


The views expressed in the Accu-Chek blog are not necessarily those of Roche Diabetes Care Limited. The content is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely - you must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content. Although we make reasonable efforts to ensure that the content is up to date, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content is accurate, complete or up-to-date.


16 November 2022