Chicken Biriyani – Instant Pot



  • 180 g Plain Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Red Chili Powder (from an Indian grocer, use Hot for more kick, Kashmiri for mild)
  • 1/2 tsp Tumeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger – Grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic – Pressed
  • 8 grams – Fresh Mint – chopped
  • 8 grams – Fresh Cilantro – chopped
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) Chicken Thighs – bone in

Biriyani Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 large Yellow Onions (500g total) – sliced thin
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 cups extra long grain Basmati
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Saffron mixed with 1 tbsp Warm Milk
  • 3 hot Thai Chilis

Instructions – Marinade

  • Make Marinade by mixing marinade ingredients. Add chicken and coat evenly with the marinade. Marinade for up to 24 hrs, at least an hour.

Instructions – Biriyani

Soak Rice

  • Wash and soak the basmati rice in water. Keep aside for 20 minutes.


  • Turn the Instant Pot to Saute. After the ‘hot’ sign displays, add 2 tbsp of Ghee and add thinly sliced onions. Cook stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Take out half of the onion and keep aside for garnishing the biryani. 


  • Add 2 more tbsp Ghee to the Instant Pot with half of the caramelized onions. Add in Thai chili. Add bay leaves and half of the marinated chicken and the liquid from the marinade. Press Cancel. Mix well, deglazing the pot with a spatula to take out all the browning of the pot from sautéing the onions. This is an important step that will prevent the possible “BURN” signal during pressure cooking.


  • Once all the browning on the pot is completely removed, stir in the remaining chicken.  
  • Close the Instant Pot and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook(Hi) and adjust the time to 4 minutes. Follow with Quick release. Mix the chicken well, once again scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. 


  • Drain the water from the soaking rice
  • Gently pour rice over the chicken. Add 2 tsp salt. Add 3 cups water and gently push all the rice under the liquids. Do not stir. Add saffron mixed with milk and cilantro.
  • Close the Instant Pot and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook(Hi) mode and adjust the timer to 6 minutes. When the timer is up, release the pressure using the quick release.
  • Open the Instant Pot. Then mix the rice with the chicken on the bottom of the pan. Using a silicone spatula to gently mix will also prevent the rice grains from breaking. 
  • Garnish with the remaining caramelized onions

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