Chicken Biryani for the Instant Pot

Author Notes:

A one-pot dish made with long grain basmati rice, chicken, fresh spices and herbs that is cooked over low heat for the most delectable flavors

Archana Deshmukh-Mundhe

Serves: 6
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 30 min


  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 0.5 teaspoons turmeric
  • 0.25 cups mint leaves
  • 0.25 cups cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 0.75 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds whole bone in chicken, skinless cut into 12 pieces
  • 3 cups Long grain Basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 6 boiled and shelled eggs, optional
In This Recipe


  1. Make marinade by mixing garam masala, ginger paste, garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, mint leaves, half of the chopped cilantro, lemon juice, yogurt, and salt. Pat dry the chicken with paper towel and make sure its completely dry. Add chicken and coat evenly with the marinade. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, wash and soak the basmati rice in water. Keep aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Turn Instant Pot to Saute(Hi). After the ‘hot’ sign displays, add 2 tablespoons of ghee and add thinly sliced onions. Cook stirring frequently for 15 mins or until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Take out half of the onion and keep aside for garnishing the biryani.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee to the Instant Pot with half of the caramelized onions already in the pot. For extra spicy biryani, add sliced jalapeño. Add bay leaves and marinated chicken. Mix well.
  5. Close Instant pot and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set Instant Pot to Manual mode for 4 mins. Follow with a quick release. Give the chicken a quick stir.
  6. Drain the rice and gently pour over the chicken. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Add 3 cups of water. Close Instant pot and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set Instant Pot to Manual mode for 6 mins. Follow with a quick release.
  7. Gently fluff and mix the rice with the chicken on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Garnish with the remaining caramelized onions, saffron and cilantro.
  9. Serve with Raita (onions and tomatoes mixed in yogurt), hard boiled egg, and lemon wedges.

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Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

Shawn February 4, 2019
It’s not clear to me from the recipe if I am supposed to cook the entire contents of the marinade into the dish, or discard the marinade and just keep the chicken. Maybe I’ll do 50-50 the first time around.
Shital L. January 6, 2018
Just made this today and it was DELISH!!!! I love how fragrant and flavorful the rice and chicken came out, and most importantly, how easy it was! Just like my moms but definitely not as much work as hers. I used less saffron and omitted eggs because I didn't have but I'm sure that would make it even better. I would love to see more complete Indian meal recipes like this!
Amy M. September 20, 2017
Made this last night and I was disappointed. The rice was mush. This recipe seems to deviate from the normal ratio of rice to water (way too much water given how much liquid the chicken gives up during the first pressure-cooking step) and the cooking time is too long.
Author Comment
Archana D. November 14, 2017
Hi Amy! Thank you for trying this recipe and your feedback. Was the chicken washed or wet when you added it to the marinade? I have edited the recipe to add a note that the chicken should be dry. I hope you will give it another try.
SSF July 10, 2017
Is this your recipe?
Author Comment
Archana D. July 10, 2017