Kacchi Lamb Biryani
100 Min

Kacchi Lamb Biryani

Even for biryani lovers, the kacchi (meaning raw) biryani of Bangladesh is a road less travelled. Biryanis in India are usually made by separately cooking the rice, meat masala, perhaps vegetables and bringing them all together at the end. In this style of biryani making, the Banglas cook the marinated meat and rice together and then finish it with fried onions. It infuses even more flavor into the rice. The pungent mustard oil is one of the most essential components of Bengali cuisine and here it shows up in the lamb marinade.
Share this recipe
Cook Time

100 Minutes + soak & marination time



Step 1
Rinse the basmati rice 2 to 3 times then soak for an hour or two. Drain.
Step 2
Marinate the lamb chunks with papaya, mustard oil, red chile, turmeric, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours up to a day or two.
Step 3
To prepare the biryani, in a flat Dutch oven or saucepan, warm the ghee and pop the black cumin seeds. This takes no more than 3 to 4 seconds, then add the cardamom pods and minced onions. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions have sweated and then turned light golden brown.
Step 4
Add the potatoes, salt, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Step 5
Then add the marinated lamb, stir, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes then add the drained rice and 4 cups of water. Do not stir the mixture. Bring it to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down and over the pot. Cook for another 10 to 12 minutes on low. Turn the heat off and let the biryani rest for at least an hour.
Step 6
Serve with fried onions, cilantro sprigs and perhaps raita or plain yogurt on the side.

2 cups basmati rice

1/2 cup ghee

1 teaspoon black cumin seeds

10 to 12 whole green cardamom pods

2 cups minced onions

1-pound potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 cup fried onions

Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Lamb Marinade:

1 pound of trimmed lamb shoulder or leg, cut into small 1-inch pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons grated green papaya

4 tablespoons mustard oil

2 teaspoon red chile powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon ginger puree

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

Notes & Variations

  • The biryani is best enjoyed the day it is made but the resting period is important – it’s when all the flavors come together and mellow out slowly.
  • The green papaya acts as a meat tenderizer – substitute with pineapple (which also has the meat-softening papain enzyme) or a teaspoon of store-bought meat tenderizer.
  • Substitute lamb for beef dark meat chicken.
100 Min

Stock Your Pantry

Eat more lamb.

Try out the recipes below! We promise they won't disappoint.