Express Biryani- Instant Pot Chicken Biryani
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5
For Marinating Chicken
  • Chicken legs or bone-in pieces- 10
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Chili powder- 1½ tsp (for less heat add Kashmiri chili powder)
  • Coriander powder- 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala- ¾ tsp
  • Lemon juice- 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt, beaten- ¼ cup
  • Mint leaves, roughly chopped- ¼ cup
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped- ¼ cup
  • Salt- 1 tsp
For Cooking
  • Ghee- 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp
  • Dried bay leaves- 2
  • Whole green cardamom- 2
  • Onion, sliced thin- 3
  • Ginger- Garlic paste- 2 tsp (optional)
  • Basmati Rice- 2 cups (soaked for 15 minutes)
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Mint leaves, chopped- ¼ cup (Must add)
  • Cilantro, chopped- ¼ cup
  • Saffron- 10 strands soaked in 1 tbsp water for 5 mins
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
Other Ingredients
  • Fried onions
  • Roasted cashew nuts (roast in ghee till cashew nuts turn golden)
  • Roasted raisins (roast in ghee till raisins plum up)
  1. I've taken chicken legs, any bone-in chicken pieces can be used.
  2. Using a sharp knife, score the chicken pieces or add 2 lines on the flesh.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the chicken along with the above mentioned ingredients 'for marinating chicken'. Combine well, let marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. For less heat, add kashmiri chili powder; it's mild & imparts a deep red color.
  5. In a bowl, soak the basmati rice in 2 cups water for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes of soaking, drain the water taken in a strainer and rinse the rice under running water. Keep it aside.
  7. Turn on the Instant Pot. I'm using Instant Pot Duo model, 6 quarts.
  8. Select Saute setting, temperature should be medium or normal- let hot sign display on the screen
  9. To the hot stainless steel pot, add 3 tbsp ghee, dried bay leaves and whole cardamom, saute for a few seconds.
  10. Add onions, season with ½ tsp salt. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes till onions turn translucent.
  11. Add ginger- garlic paste and saute onions till they turn light golden.
  12. Ensure onions are not browned and the bottom of the stainless steel pot hasn't turned brown.
  13. Add the marinated chicken pieces and combine well.
  14. Close the pot with the lid.
  15. Cancel saute setting.
  16. Turn the knob to sealing if using Instant Pot Duo model. Select Manual setting: select high pressure, set time to 5 minutes.. Walk away.
  17. It will take 5 minutes for the pressure to build and 5 minutes to pressure cook.
  18. After 5 minutes of pressure cooking, turn the knob to venting and do a quick pressure release. Pressure will be released completely in 2 minutes.
  19. Open the lid, there will be around 1 cup of chicken broth left in the pot.
  20. Add 2 cups of rice and add 1 cup additional water (for 2 cups basmati rice 2 cups liquid is required).
  21. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp ghee, mint leaves and chopped cilantro. Combine well.
  22. Add saffron soaked in 1 tbsp water, combine well.
  23. Close the pot with the lid. Turn the knob to sealing and select Manual setting: select high pressure, set time to 5 minutes.. Walk away.
  24. After 5 minutes of pressure cooking, do a quick pressure release (QPR).
  25. Open the lid, fluff the rice using a fork.
  26. If you find the rice is crisp, cover the stainless steel pot with the Instant Pot lid & let rest for 10 minutes, the rice will turn soft.
  27. Garnish the biryani with fried onions, roasted cashew nuts and raisins.
  28. Fried onions will greatly enhance the taste of this biryani.
  29. Serve along with raita, pickle, pappad etc. It's finger licking delish!!!
If using 3 cups basmati rice: add 2¼ cups water. 1 cup chicken broth will be in the pot after cooking chicken.
***Tips: To avoid burn: make sure there is enough liquid while cooking the rice. After cooking the chicken, there will be around 1 cup of liquid in the pot-for cooking 2 cups rice, add 1¼ cups of additional water to ensure there is enough water and this will avoid burning at the bottom of the pot.***
Recipe by Cooking with Thas - Healthy Recipes, Instant pot, Videos by Thasneen at