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the finished instant pot chicken biryani served on white plated

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

This hearty dish is made with marinated chicken, aromatic basmati rice and a selection of herbs and spices.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 437kcal


  • 1 pounds (50g) chicken
  • 1 ¼ cups (220g) basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 cup (52g) sliced onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 whole mace or ¼ tsp ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamom pods whole
  • 3 green cardamom pods whole
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons red paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/4 cups (295g) water
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon saffron (soaked in the milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Kewra Keora water


  • Combine yogurt, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, red paprika powder, Garam Masala, lime juice, and one teaspoon salt in a bowl. Stir until well mixed, then add the chicken. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour.
  • Use a fine mesh colander to rinse the rice 3-4 times or until the water runs clear. Immerse the grains in water and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, turn on the sauté function of the instant pot and melt the butter. Add the cumin, bay leaves, black and green cardamom, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cloves, and mace.
  • Once the spices are fragrant, add sliced onions and sauté them for 5-6 minutes until they are caramelized.
  • Stir in the marinated chicken and cook until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
  • Add chopped mint and cilantro along with the drained, soaked rice and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour in the water, along with one teaspoon salt, saffron soaked milk, and Kewra water.
  • Cancel the sauté function. Close and seal the lid and set it to High Pressure for 6 minutes, followed by a quick release of pressure.
  • Stir to mix everything together and serve with Cucumber Raita - a spice and crunchy vegetable-infused yogurt.


  • Dry the chicken well with paper towels before marinating to avoid excess liquids.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour. 
  • This recipe calls for many different herbs and spices, so I like to prep all the ingredients ahead of time. 
  • After cooking the chicken, deglaze the pan with water to avoid the “BURN” message. 
  • Drain the rice completely before adding.
  • After adding the liquid, use a wooden spoon to gently press all the rice below the liquid. 
  • Kewra water is essential to give Chicken Biryani its characteristic rich flavor and aroma. Don’t skip it.
  • Serve with Cucumber Raita. 
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
  • If made with boneless skinless chicken breast, there are 8 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving


Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 1275mg | Potassium: 370mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 967IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg