August 1, 2012

Easy 30-Minute Pressure Cooker Keema Biryani / Indian style Rice Pilaf with Ground Meat

              With the fast-paced lifestyles that we lead these days I am sure Quick-and-easy fixes appeal to the majority of us. Recently as I was heading home from work, I had this strong craving to eat a scrumptious homemade Biryani and I was pretty determined to get home and begin work.  But after the long commute and an even longer work day, I just felt all my energy zap away, exhausted and really intimidated by the intense effort and time it would take to make the dish I desired. After a few hungry growls from my tummy though, I had this truly Eureka moment to try out a possibly quicker and easier recipe. Making use of some lean ground turkey, some good quality basmati rice, some spices, 3 tablespoons of ghee, all in a pressure cooker, I was able to whip up a much lower-fat version of the traditional Biryani in a fraction of the time; Ever since, this recipe has become a keeper.

There are multiple variables that affect the quality of the Biryani and I have discussed them elaborately in the 'Note and Tips' section. I have also  tried and tested this recipe several times out to ensure that it was as perfect as possible before mustering the confidence to post, so do try this out and give it some TLC people :)

Last Sunday my sister and her adorable kids flew in to spend a couple of vacation weeks . I was so involved in cleaning the house for my neat-freak sister and baby-proofing the house for my little niece Arryel, that I had hardly any time time to cook anything extensive for them. I resorted to this quick and easy recipe that was met with rave reviews from my family

Serves 8


For Rice
2 ¼ Cup – Basmati Rice
2 inch – Cinnamon
5 – Cloves
5 – Cardamom
2 – Bay leaf
15 – Black Peppercorn
2 ¼ Cup – Water
1 Tablespoon – Ghee

For Keema
1 ¾ lb. (750gms) – Keema (Minced meat – I used lean turkey)
12 – Garlic cloves
2 inch – Ginger
5 – Green Chilly
1 – Big Red Onion, chopped
3 – Tomato, chopped
1 Tablespoon – Vinegar or Lime juice
2 ½ Tsp – Red chilly powder
1 Tablespoon – Coriander powder
1 Tsp – Pepper powder
¾ Tsp – Turmeric
1 ½ Tsp – Garam Masala
¾ Tsp – Jeera Powder
1 Tsp – Dry Mint or 1 Tbsp – Chopped fresh mint
¼ Cup – Chopped Cilantro
2 Tablespoon - Ghee
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro for Garnish

** I used a 6.5 Liter stainless steel pressure cooker

  • Take the pressure cooker and heat 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Bay leaf and Black Peppercorn.
  • Sauté for a minute and then add the Basmati rice. Sauté for 3-5 minutes and empty the contents into a bowl.
  • Return the pressure cooker back to stove and add 1 tablespoon of ghee. (Add more if you desire) I usually cook with less fat
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, grind the ginger, garlic and green chilies into a paste
  • In a bowl, add Vinegar or Lime juice, Red chilly powder, Coriander powder, Pepper powder, Turmeric, Garam Masala, and Jeera Powder, along with some water. Add this masala paste to the sautéed onions.
  • Cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and chopped tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced meat, rice, mint, cilantro, 1 tablespoon ghee, salt and water. (I added 1 tablespoon of ghee here just to make sure that the rice is not sticky)
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook on medium high for 10-12 minutes. Take off from heat and let the Biryani cook in the steam.
  • Open when the pressure is fully gone
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro
Notes and Tips
  • Cooking time- I cooked my biryani for 10-12 minutes after which I let the biryani cook in its steam. Open the pressure cooker only after the steam completely  dies down.
  • Cooking temperature- I cooked the biryani on medium high. If you are cooking on an electric-coil stove I  would advise that you use medium setting unless you are sure you won’t burn your Biryani.
  • Rice: water ratio- I tried this recipe several times before posting this and I found that the perfect ratio for Rice:Water was 1:1. The keema, tomatoes and onions release water while pressure cooking. **It might vary with your cooking conditions
  • Pressure Cooker: You will have to use a good quality pressure cooker for this recipe. If your pressure cooker is known to burn stuff, try this recipe out with a low- heat setting and more water for cooking biryani than mentioned in this recipe.
  • Cooker size: I used a 6.5 Liter stainless steel pressure cooker. I think 5 liter pressure cooker should be fine too. (I haven’t tested this recipe on a 5 liter cooker though)
  • For more tips please refer the “Tips to make a good Biryani” section here


  1. Drooling here rite now, wat a fabulous dish.

  2. wow that looks it tasted the same too...beautiful clicks!!

    i think I already commented on this dish on facebook...but it just looks so lovely n u made me all hungry now... :)


  3. Love your tips at the end. The dish looks delicious. Have never tried biryani in the cooker, but seems like it will b so much quicker. Saw your biryani post as well and pinning that for the tips!

  4. Can you this meal with brown rice?

    1. Monika - Sure, you can make this recipe with brown rice. But you will have to adjust the water accordingly.

  5. Can you use chicken in this recipe instead of keema?

    1. Sure, you can make this recipe with chicken. But you will have to adjust the water accordingly.


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