Lamb biryani in a pot

Lamb biryani

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(61 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins Plus at least 2 hrs marinating and resting


Serves 6

Make this classic Indian dish and ensure deliciously moist lamb with paneer, rice and spinach, all spiced to perfection. Great for casual entertaining

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal394
  • fat19g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre2g
  • protein23g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 400g lamb neck, cut into small cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 1 large onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tbsp Madras spice paste
  • 200g basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 400ml good-quality lamb or chicken stock
  • 100g paneer, chopped
  • 200g spinach, cooked and water squeezed out



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

To serve

  • chopped coriander
  • sliced green chillies
  • plain yogurt



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…


  1. Toss the lamb in a bowl with the garlic, ginger and a large pinch of salt. Marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

  2. Heat the oil in a casserole. Fry the lamb for 5-10 mins until starting to brown. Add the onion, cumin seeds and nigella seeds, and cook for 5 mins until starting to soften. Stir in the curry paste, then cook for 1 min more. Scatter in the rice and curry leaves, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

  3. Stir in the paneer, spinach and some seasoning. Cover the dish with a tight lid of foil, then put the lid on to ensure it’s well sealed. Cook in the oven for 20 mins, then leave to stand, covered, for 10 mins. Bring the dish to the table, remove the lid and foil, scatter with the coriander and chillies and serve with yogurt on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Jun, 2020
I made this in the slow cooker, using his madras recipe too, omitting the hot stuff for my kids and it was really tasty
Ragnar Egilsson's picture
Ragnar Egilsson
26th Jan, 2020
Add at least an extra 10 minutes in the oven.
19th Jan, 2020
Firstly, this was delicious, the paneer was especially popular with the family although it seemed odd putting with the lamb to start with. However I feel the quantities are wrong. For four people I added about 100g more rice and a lot more stock. And 600g lamb (and used leg steaks not neck) rather than 400g. This left about half a Portion so certainly wouldn’t have satisfied 6 people! I added a little more of the curry paste as well. Bearing those tweaks in mind it was a really delicious recipe, served with purple sprouting broccoli and poppadoms. Will add this to my list of regular recipes.
David Miller's picture
David Miller
11th Nov, 2019
Not the best cook in the world but I managed this and it is delicious, though I increased all ingredients by 75% and still only got 5 batches / meals, can't imagine how small the servings must be with the ingredient quantity listed
samatheee's picture
18th Oct, 2019
This is delicious definitely recommend marinating lamb overnight if you can. My LO even likes it!
4th Oct, 2019
Really easy to make, quick and an absolute family favourite. Just add creme fraiche at the end for the toddler
15th Jun, 2019
This was really delicious and simple to make. I used lamb leg chops which worked well and were lovely and tender. I’m dairy-free so left out the cheese and served with popadoms and mango chutney.
Simon Stanier's picture
Simon Stanier
20th Feb, 2018
Fantastic recipe! I've never been able to get biryani quite right before, I always end up with undercooked rice or a bland mush, but this was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious. Made it again the very next day with chicken! Also tried making it as a vegetarian dish which worked well enough - it needed slightly longer cooking but that may have been that I didn't quite get the balance right for the liquid with a smaller amount of rice.
14th Feb, 2018
We usually have an authentic biryani which takes ages with loads of spices but we were staying at a holiday cottage so gave it a go. We used chicken thighs and frozen whole leaf spinach. We thought it was quick, easy and extremely good so much so we've made it again.
5th Feb, 2018
Followed the recipe exactly, but had to give it an extra 10 minutes in oven (after the resting) as rice was not cooked. Not very impressed by the taste either. Underwhelming. Will not do again.


10th Jan, 2019
As this is a portion for 6 can left overs be frozen. Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. This dish is much better if not frozen. If cooled and refrigerated soon after making, it will keep in the fridge for up to two days.
23rd Jan, 2018
I was just wondering if I am buying the wrong cut of lamb as when I ask my butcher for lamb neck I alway get a piece of meat that needs to be cooked long and slow. I fail to see how this cut of meat could possible tenderise in the time given above. I have also discussed this issue with my butcher and he agrees. What am I doing wrong?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. The lamb is marinated which helps tenderise it and also cut into small pieces so cooking time is less than it might otherwise be. We hope that allays your concerns.
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