Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (2023)

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ThisInstant Pot Chicken Biryani has fragrant rice cooked with tender juicy chicken along with lots of warming spices and caramelized onions. This Indian chicken and rice dish is popular all over the world. This one-pot version made in a pressure cooker is easy to make even on busy weeknights in less than an hour.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (1)

This biryani has been on repeat in my house. My older daughter absolutely loves it. If you ask anyone to make biryani, all that would come to their mind is - first, the best, most flavorful rice dish, and then, it takes a long time to make and involves multiple steps.

This recipe is different than the traditional biryani. It is made as a one-pot dish in the pressure cooker, similar to my vegetable biryani. Yes, that's right, I use just one pot to cook this biryani, and one bowl to marinate the chicken. And the biryani is just as flavorful with the complex flavors from mixing the rice, marinated chicken, caramelized onions, spices and saffron!

Jump to:
  • What is Biryani?
  • Why you will love this Instant Pot Biryani?
  • How to make Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot?
  • Tips to make Perfect Chicken Biryani
  • 📖 Recipe

What is Biryani?

Biryani is one of the most popular Indian dish that is made with rice, meat and/or vegetables, and spices. Traditionally biryani has layers of meat and rice that are slow-cooked in a heavy bottom pot on the stovetop or in the oven. This is called Dum Biryani.

It is believed that Biryani originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals. There are many variations of biryani in different regions of India. Hyderabadi, Chettinad, Malabar, Sindhi, are few of the variations you might hear about.

Why you will love this Instant Pot Biryani?

  • One-pot: This biryani made in the instant does not require to cook chicken and rice separately and then layer it together. This means we make it all in one-pot, which means less mess and dishes. But mind you, it is just as flavorful as the authentic dum biryani.
  • Takes less than an hour to make: This is including marination and pressure cooking time. So it is just 30 minutes of active effort to make this one-pot meal!
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (2)

How to make Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot?

When I think of biryani, layers of meat and rice, topped with lots of caramelized or fried onions, come to my mind. And I did not want that to change even if I was making this one-pot version of my Chicken Biryani. So let me show you how I achieve that in the instant pot!

Let's start with getting the ingredients ready for the biryani.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (3)

Onions: In this recipe, I am caramelizing the onions by sautéing in the pot before adding the other ingredients. Traditionally, fried onions are also added to biryani. However remember that store-bough fried onions are not gluten-free. So feel free to fry them separately at home if you like. You can add some fried onions when marinating the chicken and some on top after cooking the biryani.

Chicken: I used boneless chicken thighs in this recipe. You can also use bone-in chicken when making biryani. Just pressure cook for 4 minutes before layering the rice. More details in notes.

Marinating the Chicken

We will marinate the chicken as that makes it much more tender and flavorful. Add the yogurt, spices, ginger, garlic paste, lime juice and mint, cilantro leaves. Mix all well and refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (4)

At the same time, rinse the rice with water and soak it. I always use long grain basmati rice for biryani. The final dish looks amazing with the extra long cooked rice.

When you are ready to start cooking, soak the saffron strands in warm milk.

Caramelize the Onions

Start the instant pot on sauté mode and let it heat. Add ghee, and then the cashews, raisins and saute them for about a minute until they are lightly golden. Take out and reserve for later.

Then add in sliced onions and caramelize them. This is the cooking step that takes some active effort, as you need to stir the onions frequently as they caramelize. Once caramelized, remove and keep aside half the onions. We will use these to garnish at the end.

Add the whole spices and saute for 30 seconds to release their aroma. Add in the marinated chicken and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (5)

Pressure Cook the Biryani

Make sure to deglaze the pot as you sauté the chicken. This is important to avoid the bur message. Then spread the chicken at the bottom of the pot.

Add in the rice and spread it over the chicken. Spread the saffron soaked in milk.

Then add the water, and pressure cook the biryani.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (6)

After pressure cooking, the rice should be well cooked and fluffy. They should not be mushy.

Garnish with the reserved caramelized onions, cashews and raisins. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Do not overmix the biryani in the pot. When you scoop out the biryani from the pot,do from the bottom of the pot, so you get both chicken and rice with each scoop.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (7)

Enjoy this tasty Chicken Biryani with raita.

Tips to make Perfect Chicken Biryani

  • Prep the ingredients: It helps to have all the ingredients ready before you start to cook biryani.
  • Marinate the Chicken for at least 20 minutes. It helps to make the chicken tender and flavorful.
  • Deglaze: Make sure to deglaze the pot well, so that you don't get a burn message.
  • Use high quality spices. If possible, make Garam Masala at home for the extra bold flavor. Here is my mom's Garam Masala recipe.
  • Use ghee to get the real flavor of biryani. I like to make ghee at home in the instant pot.
  • Enjoy this biryani with a cooling raita such as this Cucumber Raita. And serve Sheer Khurma as a dessert.

Hope you enjoy this easy one-pot biryani. Do share how it turned out in comments or share a photo on instagram with #pipingpotcurry.

📖 Recipe

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Easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani - Piping Pot Curry (8)

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Meeta Arora

ThisInstant Pot Chicken Biryani has fragrant rice cooked with tender juicy chicken along with lots of warming spices and caramelized onions. This Indian chicken and rice dish is popular all over the world. This one-pot version made in a pressure cooker is easy to make even on busy weeknights in less than an hour.

4.89 from 95 votes

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Servings: 4

Calories: 453

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Diet: Gluten-free

Method: Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken boneless cut into 1.5" inch pieces
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice washed and soaked for 20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee
  • 10 Cashews
  • 12 Raisins
  • 1 Onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon Milk warm
  • 10 strands Saffron (Kesar)
  • 1 cup Water

For marination

Instructions

Marinate the chicken:

  • Add chicken in a bowl with all the marinate ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate it for 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours).

Preparing the biryani:

  • Add the milk to a small bowl and warm it in the microwave. Add the saffron strands to it. Keep aside.

  • Start the instant pot on sauté mode and heat it. Add ghee, and then the cashews, raisins and saute them for about a minute until they are lightly golden. Take out and reserve for later.

  • Add in the sliced onions. Cook them for about 10-12 minutes until onions caramelize. Stir frequently, so they don't stick to the bottom. Take out half of the caramelized onions.

  • Add the whole spices and saute for 30 seconds. Add the marinated chicken. Mix well and saute for about 3 minutes minutes. Make sure to deglaze the pot well. Then spread the chicken evenly on the base of the pot.

  • Spread the rice evenly over the chicken. Spread the saffron soaked in milk on top of the rice. Then add the 1 cup of water to the pot. Close the lid with vent in sealing position.

  • Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 4 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a 10 minute NPR. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the pressure manually.

  • Garnish with the reserved caramelized onions, cashews and raisins. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve chicken biryani with raita.

Video

Notes

Chicken: I used chicken thighs to prepare this biryani, you can use chicken breasts or legs too. If using chicken legs, sauté as in the recipe, then pressure cook for 4 minutes before adding the rice and continuing the next steps.

Spice level: This recipe is for medium spiced biryani. Add or reduce the spice to your taste.

How to avoid burn?The newer versions of instant pot are more sensitive and are prone to give a burn message for rice dishes. Make sure to deglaze the pot after sautéing the chicken. If you still face an issue, consider sautéing the onions in a separate pan on stovetop.

Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 453kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 31gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 752mgPotassium: 736mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 371IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 2mg

Keyword easy, instant pot, one pot, pressure cooker

Tried this recipe?Share your photo and tag @PipingPotCurry or #pipingpotcurry

FAQs

What is the difference between chicken Biryani and curry? ›

Is biryani a curry? Even though biryani tastes like rice mixed with curry, it's not a curry. Biryani is a dish in which marinated meat, spices, and gravy are cooked and layered together with a much higher ratio of rice.

How do you remove excess water from cooked Biryani? ›

Here are some cool tricks to help you when the food you have cooked turns out too watery... Cornstarch thickens any watery dish. Cornstarch: Prepare a solution by adding cornstarch. Take a little water from the dish and mix it with the cornstarch and put it back to the dish.

What curry goes with Biryani? ›

Salan. This creamy, slightly spiced and mildly tangy dish goes exceptionally well with a plate of your favourite Biryani. It is a curry-based item made of peanut, sesame and long-slit green chillies, and its mild taste blends perfectly with the richness of Biryani.

Does chicken biryani taste like curry? ›

Even though biryani tastes like a curry, it actually doesn't qualify as one. Yes, there are spices like cumin, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon packed into it, but biryani has a much higher ratio of rice than sauce in comparison to a curry. It's more of a curried rice dish.

Do you eat curry with biryani? ›

A flavorful vegetable curry made with potatoes, peas, and carrots is a great side dish to serve with biryani. The vegetables in the curry complement the flavors of the biryani, and they add a variety of textures and flavors to the meal.

What is the secret of biryani taste? ›

Biryani rice are flavored with spices and are full of aroma. This is attained by boiling rice with whole spices and salt in large pot with plenty of water. Best way to do this is boil water with salt and whole spices like cumin, cardamoms, pepper, bay leaf etc.

What is the secret of biryani smell? ›

Cook rice in boiling water which is infused with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, fennel seeds and a squeeze of lemon. This adds fragrance to the biryani rice.

What gives biryani Flavour? ›

Biryani will not taste good if you do not use the right pack of biryani masala. This pack of Hyderabadi biryani masala by the brand is made from a mix of red chilli, salt, cumin, black pepper, cardamom, black cardamom, nutmeg, mace, star anise, bay leaf and more to give the right taste to your biryani.

Is curry always eaten with rice? ›

You don't always have to serve rice with curry. In fact, more often than not, curry is eaten with flatbreads alone!

Which spice mainly gives biryani its flavor? ›

Whole Spices: Bay leaf, Cloves, Green Cardamom and Saffron (kesar for that distinct orange colour) - these form the flavour base and give biryani that distinct fragrance that wafts up as soon as you open the pot.

Which oil is best for chicken biryani? ›

Always use bone-in chicken as it helps the dish to turn out more flavorful. 4.Ghee : Traditionally chicken biryani was made using ghee. Since this recipe does not follow the traditional method, you can also make it using oil. But ghee adds a unique aroma to the dish.

What makes biryani different? ›

Biryani is always prepared in layers, with at least one layer dedicated to meat or vegetables and another one for fried onions. While in the case of a pulao, the veggies, meat and rice are sauteed together, and then cooked in a predetermined quantity of water. There is no layering involved.

Why is it called chicken biryani? ›

Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means 'fried before cooking' and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. While there are multiple theories about how biryani made its way to India, it is generally accepted that it originated in West Asia.

What are the two types of biryani? ›

Hyderabadi biryani uses raw meat that is cooked along with rice, while Lucknowi biryani uses pre-cooked meat that is layered with rice and then cooked. Additionally, Hyderabadi biryani has a spicier taste compared to Lucknowi biryani, which is more aromatic.

What is the difference between chicken biryani and chicken tikka biryani? ›

Difference between Chicken Biryani and Chicken Tikka Biryani

Unlike regular biryani, which uses cooked or raw meat, Chicken Tikka Biryani uses the Tikka.

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