Chicken Biryani – The epitome of a one-pot meal made with aromatic basmati rice, tender chicken, spices and herbs that is cooked over low heat for the most delectable flavors.
Chicken Biryani is one of my most favorite dishes and definitely one of the most requested meals at my house. I say meal because you have your proteins and grains all together and you really don’t need anything else to accompany this dish. There are many variations of this recipe that originate in several states of India. My favorite, of course, is the one made by my mom that I grew up eating. I distinctly remember the day when her friend came over to teach her how to make “Dum Biryani”. They spent almost half of the day grinding fresh spices, frying batches of caramelized golden onions and then cooking the chicken marinated in yogurt and spices over long grain basmati rice. It was cooked on a low setting in a large pot with a tightly sealed lid. They actually sealed the lid with dough to make sure it was airtight! Hours passed. We all waited for the big reveal and when the lid opened our entire home was filled with a warm, deep spiced aroma. That was possibly the most heavenly biryani I have ever had. Thankfully, we had enough leftovers and it was surprising to see how much more the flavors developed the next day.
For many years now we have enjoyed my mom’s “Dum Biryani”. Cooked in homemade ghee, homemade garam masala, herbs and basmati rice, this Biryani is everyone’s favorite. I have simplified the recipe so that it can be easily prepared for a weeknight meal. Other than caramelizing the onions, which is a must, the rest of the process is pretty straight forward. Making the Chicken Biryani in the Instant Pot also takes it to another level of simplicity.
Here is my favorite dish, an easy chicken biryani recipe, with perfect texture and flavors cooked in the InstaPot:
- 2 tsp garam masala Add 3 tsp for spicier Biryani
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 1 ⁄2 tsp turmeric
- ¼ th cup of mint leaves
- ¼ th cup of chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 lb whole bone in chicken skinless cut into 12 pieces (If using chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 3 cups Basmati rice
- 3 tbsp ghee divided
- 2 large onions thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp saffron mixed in 1 tbsp warm milk
- 6 boiled and shelled eggs optional
- 1 jalapeno sliced into 8 wedges optional for extra spicy **
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. Add chicken and coat evenly with the marinade. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, wash and soak the basmati rice in water. Keep aside for 20 mins.
Turn IP to Saute(Hi). After the ‘hot’ sign displays, add 2 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.
Add 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, deglazing the pot with a spatula to take out any browning of the pot from sautéing the onions.
a) For Chicken on bone - Close IP and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set IP to Manual mode for 4 mins. Follow with Quick release. Give the chicken a quick stir.
b) For Chicken Breasts - Mix well and cook on Saute mode 3 mins.
Drain the rice and gently pour over the chicken. Add 2 tsp of salt. Add 3 cups of water. Close IP and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set IP to Manual mode for 6 mins. Follow with Quick release.
Gently fluff and mix the rice with the chicken on the bottom of the pan.
Garnish with the remaining caramelized onions, saffron and cilantro.
Serve with Raita (Onions and tomatoes mixed in yogurt), hard boiled egg and lemon wedges.
** This recipe makes medium spicy Biryani. For extra spicy add jalapeno. OR add another tsp of garam masala to the chicken.
Remember to deglaze the pot after adding the marinated chicken to remove any browned bits from the pot. This will help the Instant Pot come to pressure and also prevent the biryani from burning.