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Rice Cooker Lamb Biryani

Can you make a better lamb biryani… in a rice cooker? Totally love a biryani, totally love a cooking shortcut, totally love a challenge. Let’s do this. 

In partnership with Panasonic Australia


Rice Cooker Lamb Biryani

1 hour
2 hours 20 minutes

2½ cups basmati rice

¼ cup milk

2g (just under 0.1 oz) saffron threads

4 dried bay leaves

8 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup crispy fried shallots

2¼ cups (about 19 fl oz) chicken stock

¼ cup roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

natural yoghurt, to serve

sliced red onion, to serve

sliced green chilli, to serve

lime wedges, to serve


Lamb curry:

4 cloves garlic

1 long green chilli, roughly chopped 

2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder* 

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 cup natural yoghurt

1.2kg (2 lb 10 oz) lamb shoulder, boneless, cut into 4cm (1.5”) chunks

1 tbsp ghee

  • Step 1

    To make the marinade for the lamb curry, place the garlic, green chilli and salt into a mortar and use a pestle to pound to a smooth paste. Transfer the paste to a clean mixing bowl, then add in the ginger, ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder and yoghurt. Give everything a mix until well combined. Next, add the lamb pieces and ensure all the pieces are evenly coated all over. Set aside to marinate for at least an hour or, if you have time, in the fridge overnight.

  • Step 2

    Select the Congee/Soup setting on the rice cooker and wait for the bowl to heat. Add the ghee, followed by the marinated lamb. Cook, stirring and flipping the meat, for around 3–4 minutes until everything is smelling lovely. Close the lid and cook for 90 minutes or until the lamb is fork tender. (You can also make this on the stovetop in a heavy based saucepan or Dutch oven. Begin with a medium heat to melt the ghee and start off the lamb, then pop the lid on and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 hours or until the lamb is fork tender.) Open or lift off the lid and use a ladle to scoop off any excess fat. Allow the curry to simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid open/off so that the sauce thickens slightly.

  • Step 3

    In the meantime, place the basmati rice in a bowl. Cover with water and soak for at least 30 minutes.

  • Step 4

    To bloom the saffron, place the milk into a small saucepan. Add the saffron threads. Turn on the heat to low-medium and gently warm the milk, stirring often, for a couple of minutes or until just warm (anything too hot will disrupt the flavour). Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Transfer to a jug with a pourer.

  • Step 5

    Drain the rice and add half on top of the lamb curry. Scatter over half of the fried shallots. Then repeat with another layer of rice and shallots. In a circular motion, pour the saffron milk over the top of everything. Add the bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Then pour in the chicken stock. Close the lid and select the Long Grain function on the rice cooker and press start (cook time is approx 32 minutes). If you’re cooking on the stovetop, cook on low for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

  • Step 6

    To serve, scoop out the biryani onto serving plates, being sure to get right to the bottom of the pan so you have every layer on your spoon. Scatter over the coriander and serve with the yoghurt, onion, chilli and lime.

  • Notes

    – This dish was made using the Panasonic 1.5L Induction Heat Rice Cooker SR-HL151KST.

    – Kashmiri chilli powder is made from Kashmiri chillies, a variety known for its lower heat rating and intense red colour. This ingredient is well worth seeking out online or at an Asian grocer, however, if you’re unable to find it, just use sweet paprika instead.

We have collaborated with Panasonic to produce this content and may get compensation from content. This helps support our content creation. I only partner with companies and products that I’d happily recommend to my audience.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
Very good100%

Easy and delicious

June 29, 2023

I tried this recipe using my 9 year old Panasonic rice cooker. I was surprised that I was able to cook the lamb curry using the porridge setting (won’t bother with my slow cooker in the future!). I added the rice and used the white rice setting as my machine didn’t have a basmati setting. It worked perfectly. Very tasty

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