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Lamb biryani bake recipe

Lamb biryani bake recipe

149 ratings

Impressive, indulgent and aromatic, this classic Indian lamb dish is the perfect way to warm up during the colder months. It's packed with flavour and gives super succulent lamb warmly spiced with cumin, cloves and cinnamon. What's more, this dish can be made ahead and frozen, ready to be enjoyed any night of the week. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins to prepare and 1hr 40 mins to cook
  • 540 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Healthy


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 450g pack lamb leg steaks, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 whole green cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp 0% fat natural yogurt, plus extra to serve
  • 1 chicken stock cube, made up with 650ml water
  • 300g basmati rice
  • generous pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water (optional)
  • fresh coriander or mint, to serve
  • flaked almonds, to serve
Basmati rice can always be swapped for long-grain

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    16g 23%
  • Saturates

    5g 26%
  • Sugars

    8g 9%
  • Salt

    1.7g 28%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 74.8g Protein 31.9g Fibre 5.6g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based, lidded frying pan over a high heat. Once very hot, add the lamb in a single layer; sear on all sides. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Season and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil and the whole spices, reserving 3 cardamom pods. When they start to pop, add the onions, a pinch of salt and a splash of water. Fry for 15-20 mins until softened. Put half the mix into a small dish and set aside.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger to the remaining onions, stir well and fry for 1-2 mins. Add the ground spices, cook for 2 mins, then stir in the lamb. Stir in the tomato purée and yogurt, then pour in 250ml of the stock; bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hr, adding a splash of water if it looks dry. It's ready when the lamb falls apart when pressed with a spoon and the sauce is very thick.
  4. Meanwhile, 20 mins before the lamb is ready, put the rice in a large, lidded pan with the remaining stock, the remaining cardamom pods and some salt. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to very low. Cook for 15 mins, then remove from the heat and rest for 5 mins with the lid on. Uncover and fluff gently with a fork.
  5. Cover the base of a deep, freezer-safe casserole with ⅓ of the rice, then ½ the lamb, ½ the reserved onions and ½ of the saffron water, if using. Repeat with more of the rice and remaining lamb. Finish with the remaining rice, onions and saffron water.
  6. Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-40 mins until piping hot. Serve topped with flaked almonds, fresh coriander or mint and yogurt.

Freezing guidelines

Set aside the assembled but unbaked dish to cool. Wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Cook as per step 6, then serve immediately.

See more Lamb recipes

We cannot guarantee that all ingredients needed for this recipe are certified halal. Please check that products are certified halal before purchase.

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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