Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. This is a one-pot Chicken Biryani, with fragrant rice and tender chicken pieces cooked in spices and caramelized onions. When this biryani was cooking, the whole house had the fragrance of the amazing something cooking in the pot. It was hard to wait!
This recipe is different than the traditional biryani. The main differences are that I am not adding multiple layers of chicken and rice, and I am not frying the onions, rather caramelizing them in ghee. However the taste is so good, you wont be able to stop eating. My very picky daughter ate the biryani too. This is also a very quick recipe as opposed to the hours it took to cook dum biryani. The time is 1.5 hours, but most of it is passive time for marinating the chicken.
If you prefer fried onions, you can add them to this recipe. Just divide them and add half when marinating the chicken and half when the biryani is cooked to garnish. Some people use store bought fried onions too.
So let’s go through the steps of preparing the Chicken Biryani.
How make Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot
First step is getting the ingredients ready for the biryani. As you can see in the below picture, I got the whole spices and the saffron in warm milk ready. I took out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator. The chicken was marinated for an hour in yogurt, ginger, garlic, spices and lemon juice.
To start cooking the biryani, saute the whole spices for a minute, 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. Add in the marinated chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
Add in the rice and water, and set to manual or high pressure cook mode for 4 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a 10 minute NPR, which means a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then a quick pressure release.
Garnish the biryani with the saffron soaked in warm milk by spreading it evenly. Spread the caramelized onions and cilantro.
Chicken Biryani is ready. Do not mix 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.
Biryani is great to store for future use. Keep in an airtight container to lock in the flavors.
Chicken Biryani - Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Marinate the chicken:
- Add chicken in a bowl with all the marinate ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate it for 1 hour or more.
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 in saute mode and heat it. Add ghee and whole spices.
- Add in the sliced onions. Cook them for about 12 minutes until onions caramelize. Stir frequently, so they don't stick to the bottom. Take out half of the caramelized onions, leaving the whole spices in the pot.
- Add the marinated chicken in the pot. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Then spread the chicken evenly on the base of the pot.
- Spread the rice evenly over the chicken. Add the 1 and 1/4 cup of water to the pot. Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode with high pressure for 4 minutes.
- When the instant pot beeps, do 10 minute NPR. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the pressure manually.
- Garnish the biryani with saffron soaked in warm milk. With a teaspoon, spread the milk evenly over the rice.
- Garnish with the caramelized onions we kept aside and cilantro. Let the biryani stand for 5 minutes so it can soak in the flavor on the saffron.
- Serve chicken biryani with raita.
- This recipe is for mild-medium spiced biryani, add or reduce the spice to your taste.
- I used chicken thighs to prepare this biryani, you can use chicken breasts too.
- Use long grain basmati rice to prepare biryani.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.