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.
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.
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:
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A healthier version of the classic Chicken Biryani made with brown basmati rice, chicken breasts and aromatic spices.
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro divided
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds chicken breasts cut each breast into 2 pieces
- 2 cups brown basmati rice
- 1 jalapeno sliced into 8 wedges optional for extra spicy **
- 2 tablespoons ghee divided
- 1 large onions thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon saffron mixed in 1 tablespoon warm milk
- 4 boiled and shelled eggs optional
- Rinse and drain the brown basmati rice thoroughly 2 times. Add 2 cups of warm water and soak the rice for 3 hours.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using a spatula, evenly spread the rice under water and gently push all the rice from the sides of the pot under the liquids.
- Close Instant Pot and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set to Manual mode for 10 mins.
- 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.
- 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.
You can replace chicken breasts with bone in chicken pieces , chicken thighs or drumsticks for the same cook time.
Here are more Instant Pot Biryani recipes in addition to this Brown Rice Chicken Biryani:
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live New Jersey with my husband and two sons.