Brown Rice Chicken Biryani – Instant Pot

Spread the love

Brown Rice Chicken Biryani – Took me much longer than anticipated, but after several trial and errors, here is the recipe that I am excited to share with you all. A healthier version of the popular Chicken Biryani that is cooked with brown basmati rice, chicken breasts, fresh herbs and warm aromatic spices.

I would have never thought of making Biryani with brown rice. Since I started making Biryani in my Instant Pot, it has become a repeat one-pot meal in our family. It is a favorite in our house and making it with brown basmati only makes it more healthier. After posting my Instant Pot Chicken Biryani recipe I received so many questions on how to make this with brown basmati. My initial thinking was that it is not going to work out with the flavor and moreover the textures with the chicken and Rice cooking together. But more I started using brown rice, I understood how soaking it can drastically change the cooking time especially with Instant Pot

brown rice chicken biryani

So here is the recipe, and seriously all it needs is some extra prep-time or a little bit of planning. The key is to soak the brown basmati rice for 3 hours in warm water and marinade your chicken breasts for 2-3 hours. Once you have the brown basmati soaked for 3 hours, it cooks perfectly along with the chicken breasts in 10 minutes of pressure cooking time. Unlike the regular white rice Chicken Biryani, this recipe requires natural pressure release, which helps the rice to continue to cook and the chicken breasts come out moist and juicy.
brown rice chicken biryani

Served with a yogurt-based raita, boiled egg and fresh lime wedge makes this a hearty one-pot meal that is finger-licking good and satisfying!

Here is the you tube video that shows how easy it is to make this brown rice chicken biryani:

4 from 7 votes
brown rice chicken biryani
Brown Rice Chicken Biryani - Instant Pot
Prep Time
3 hrs
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins

A healthier version of the classic Chicken Biryani made with brown basmati rice, chicken breasts and aromatic spices.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 485 kcal
Author: Archana
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic grated
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ th cup of mint leaves
  • ¼ th cup of chopped cilantro divided
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 lb chicken breasts cut each breast into 2 pieces
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1 jalapeno sliced into 8 wedges optional for extra spicy **
  • 2 tbsp ghee divided
  • 1 large onions thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp saffron mixed in 1 tbsp warm milk
  • 4 boiled and shelled eggs optional
  1. Rinse and drain the brown basmati rice thoroughly 2 times. Add 2 cups of warm water and soak the rice for 3 hours.
  2. Make Marinade by mixing garam masala, ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric, mint leaves, half of the chopped cilantro, lemon juice, yogurt and salt. Add chicken and coat evenly with the marinade. Keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours
  3. After about 2-1/2 hours, turn Instant Pot to Saute(Hi) mode. After the ‘hot’ sign displays, add 1 tbsp 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 remaining 1 tbsp of ghee to the IP with half of the caramelized onions already in the pot. For extra spicy Biryani add sliced jalapeno. Add bay leaves and marinated chicken. Mix well and deglaze the pot with the liquids from the marinade. The deglazing step is important and will help take out the browning of the pot from sautéing the onions.
  5. Drain the rice and gently pour over the chicken. Spread the rice evenly over the chicken. Add 1-1/2 tsp of salt. Add 1 cup of water.
  6. Using a spatula, evenly spread the rice under water and gently push all the rice from the sides of the pot under the liquids.
  7. Close Instant Pot and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set to Manual mode for 10 mins.
  8. Allow Natural Pressure Release. Once the pin drops, open the Instant Pot and gently fluff the top layer of the rice, if it looks slightly uncooked, simply close the instant pot and leave the Instant Pot on the keep warm mode for another 10 minutes.
  9. Gently fluff and mix the rice with the chicken on the bottom of the pan.
  10. Garnish with the remaining caramelized onions, saffron and cilantro.
  11. Serve with Raita (Onions and tomatoes mixed in yogurt), hard boiled egg and lemon wedges.
Recipe Notes

** This recipe makes medium spicy Biryani. For extra spicy add jalapeno. OR add another tsp of garam masala to the chicken.

You can replace chicken breasts with bone in chicken pieces , chicken thighs or drumsticks for the same cook time. 

Nutrition Facts
Brown Rice Chicken Biryani - Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 485
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Here are more Instant Pot Biryani recipes in addition to this Brown Rice Chicken Biryani:

18 thoughts on “Brown Rice Chicken Biryani – Instant Pot

  1. Wow.. this looks so yummy.. one quick question, do I need to add 1cup of water for 1cup of rice or 1cup water for 2cups rice ?

    1. Hi Ramya, lots of liquids are released by pressure cooking the chicken, so just 1 cup water is enough for 2 cups of soaked basmati rice. You want to make sure that all the rice is under liquids as shown in the video. Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. When you say one cup of rice, do you mean the cup that came with the instant pot?

    Also, the instant pot cooking times state that it takes 20-22 minutes to cook brown rice. Your recipe cooks everything in 10 minutes – is that because the brown rice has been soaked for three hours?

    1. I use regular measuring cup for rice. The key is to use same cup to measure the rice and water. And yes soaking reduces the cook time for brown rice.

      1. Ok ok, so you mean for this particular recipe you used a regular measuring cup (250ml)? But, you can use any quantity as long as the ratio is consistent? (1:1 or 1:1.25)?

  3. Hi Archana! first of all, I must say I am hooked on to your recipes & specially the IP ones! It wont be a lie if I say I bought IP after reading your blog & reviews on IP 🙂 All the recipes I have tried so far have come out so well. You have a very good knack of explaining everything in simple words, really very impressive to know inspite of being from IT background, you are doing this to pursue your passion for cooking!
    Now quick q on this recipe. Can I follow this same recipe to make egg biryani? only thing I am little unsure is how to marinate boiled eggs, is that even needed.

    1. Hi Seema! Thank you for your kind words. I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the new cooking experience. I would not marinade eggs. I would cook the brown rice with sautéed onions and half of the marinade. Then sauté whole boiled eggs in remaining marinade and onions on stovetop. And then simply mix the 2 together.

  4. Can you marinate the chicken overnight? Or do you think it will alter the flavor? What about the rice? (for those of us that can’t marinate 3 hr before cooking during a schoolnight!)

Post a comment