One Pot Lamb Pulao

By Published On: 8 Feb '21Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

Made with two fabulous ingredients - basmati rice and aromatic spices, this is a tasty One Pot Lamb Pulao. It's my go to recipe when I have little time at hand.

One Pot Lamb Pulao

I learnt to make Lamb Pulao only after coming to Australia as lamb (sheep under one year of age) was not available in India back in those days. My mother made something similar with mutton/goat meat. This One Pot Lamb Pulao is an easy, tasty and can be cooked on a weeknight.

Lamb is common in many cultures and it is a juicy meat. Australian lambs are raised on green pastures and it is a widely used choice of meat for all Australians.

Australia is one of the world's largest exporters of goat meat as 90% of goat meat is exported to USA and Taiwan and only 10% is used domestically. Australians consume goat milk and goat cheese however they do not fancy goat meat. This is probably because Australians like convenience in their cooking and further goat meat requires time and effort. The demand for goat meat has picked up in the last few years, however, it is still difficult to source goat meat as only a handful of butchers sell goat meat in Sydney. Most of those butchers are located in the west of Sydney and it is often a long hike to buy goat meat. We have lived in Sydney for more than 25 years and we have always purchased goat meat from a Bangladeshi butcher in Sydney's west as neither the butchers nor the supermarkets stock goat meat in our local area.

Humour about mutton (meat of a mature sheep)

Did you know that the meat of a mature sheep is called "mutton"?

When we arrived in Australia many years ago we were dying for a biryani. As there were no Indian restaurants close to where we lived, we decided to make it ourselves. With a lot of excitement and our taste buds stimulated, we went to a local butcher and asked him for mutton. He kindly packed us a nice cut of boneless mutton and we were ecstatic that we got the best mutton ever, as that was rare sight when we purchased mutton in India. We prepared the biryani and we were surprised that Australian mutton did not taste like Indian mutton at all. In fact, we were totally disappointed that it had a different flavour profile, taste and texture. We were totally confused why mutton in Australia tasted like nothing we have tasted before. At that time, little did we know that Australian butchers called the meat of a fully grown sheep as 'mutton'. Lamb is referred to as meat from a young sheep usually in their first year of life. LESSON ONE!

We were totally pleased that we sorted the meaning of 'mutton' but not so happy with our biryani. So this is how we discovered the taste of Australian mutton for the first time and that was the last time we bought mutton from an Australian butcher. From then on, when we go to buy mutton, we always ask the butchers if the mutton we are buying is the meat of a mature sheep or the meat of a goat. We also discovered that Australian butchers do not stock goat meat/mutton at all. LESSON TWO! We have to buy goat meat/mutton from Bangaladeshi butchers who all seem to be located in the west of Sydney. LESSON THREE! and the final lesson if you are dying for a biryani, you must only go to a Bangladeshi butcher who stocks goat meat. So, make enquires with your friends as to which Bangladeshi butcher in your area sells goat meat, a couple of weeks before you decide to make that yummy biryani. I have been told that some Lebanese butchers also sell goat meat but make sure you check with them that it is goat meat and not mutton as referred to by Aussies.

Hope you enjoyed a little humour about the Australian mutton and our first Aussie Mutton Biryani !

One Pot Lamb Pulao

One Pot Lamb Pulao

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
This is my favourite one pot meal with lamb, basmati rice and aromatic spices. Bursting with flavour this is a rice dish for any occasion. In this recipe, two fabulous ingredients lamb and basmati rice come together beautifully to form a delicious final dish. If you fancy something speical but do not have much time at hand, this is the perfect pulao.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people


  • ½ cup ghee
  • 2 onions chopped 300g
  • 500 g diced leg of lamb
  • 4 cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 7 green cardamoms
  • 8 cloves
  • level tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 level tsp. fennel seed powder
  • ½ tsp. blade mace powder
  • tbsp. ginger paste
  • tbsp. garlic paste
  • 5 green chillies slit or to taste
  • 600 mL water
  • tsp. salt or to taste
  • cups long grain Basmati rice 300g
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. ghee for garnish
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • ½ cup chopped mint leaves for garnish


  • Heat ½ cup ghee in a large heavy based pan on medium heat.
  • Add onions and fry for 8-9 minutes.
  • Add the diced lamb and brown evenly.
  • Add whole spices, ground fennel, ground mace, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, water and salt. Mix well to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer covered with a tight-fitting lid for 25 minutes or until the lamb is tender, bearing in mind that we will be cooking the lamb for a further 12-15 minutes once we add the rice. Stir from time to time to avoid sticking or burning.
  • While the lamb is cooking, wash the rice and soak it for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the rice and add to the lamb and add another 450mL-500mL water. Stir well to combine and adjust seasoning if required. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Cook covered for 12-15 minutes without opening the lid at any time. Remove pan from heat and set aside for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
  • Open lid carefully and fork the rice. Add half the coriander and half the mint leaves and give a gentle stir.
  • Garnish with garam masala, ghee, reserved coriander and mint leaves.
  • Serve immediately with mint and yogurt raita.


It is uncommon for me to write a recipe for 2 people.  I have had some requests from people to cover some recipes for 2 people and hence this recipe for 2 people.  This recipe is enough for 3 people if they are practising portion sizes. 
Keyword Lamb Pulao, Pulao
Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!

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