Kheema Pulao is a flavor-packed one pot meal with fragrant long grain basmati rice cooked in ground chicken and aromatic-warm whole spices like black pepper, cumin seeds and cinnamon.
A frequently made dish for dinner in my kitchen, this Kheema Pulao is a family favorite meal. It can be made in 40 minutes using basic spices.
What is the difference in Biryani and Pulao?
Here are 2 basic differences between Biryani and Pulao (Pilaf)
- Biryani is made by slow cooking marinated chicken that is layered with basmati rice. While Pulao does not require any marination and is cooked by mixing in rice and veggies/meat together.
- Biryani uses whole as well as ground spices and is a lot more spicer than pulao. Pulao is a lighter variation using only a few whole spices.
What is Kheema?
Also known as Keema or Queema, Kheema is a Urdu word for minced meat such as chicken, lamb, beef, etc. As ground meat cooks fairly quickly, different meats can be easily substituted in this Kheema Pulao or in other recipes that call for Kheema.
Steps to make this EASY Kheema Pulao:
Thinly slice onions, dice tomatoes and grate ginger and garlic.
Heat ghee or oil in the Instant Pot and sauté the spices and onions. Add chicken and mix well (photos 1 – 4).
Mix in mint, turmeric, red chili powder, salt and tomatoes. Add rice, water and mix well making sure that all the rice is under the liquids (photos 5 – 8).
Close the Instant Pot lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes natural pressure release.
Gently fluff the rice with a fork or silicone spatula. Note, if the rice looks uncooked on the top, just mix it with the rice under and close the Instant Pot for 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy hot with a squeeze of fresh lime.
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- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon shah jeera or cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic grated
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Handful of mint leaves chopped
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cups long grain Basmati rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 lime
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté(more) mode and heat ghee. Add jeera, black peppercorn, cinnamon and bay leaves. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown. Add ginger, garlic and chicken. Sauté, breaking the chicken and browning it for a minute. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, turmeric, mint leaves and salt. Mix well.
- Add rice and water. Gently mix making sure all the rice is under the liquids. Close the Instant Pot lid with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual /Pressure cook (Hi) 5 mins with 5 min NPR.
- Open the Instant Pot and gently fluff the top rice (Note, if the rice looks uncooked on the top, just mix it with the rice under and close the Instant Pot for 5 minutes)
- Add lime juice, cilantro and black pepper. Turn the Instant Pot off and take the insert out so the rice does not overcook or get mushy. Enjoy hot.
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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 in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.