4.25 from 12 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
Keyword: chicken biryani
Servings: 6
Calories: 482 kcal
Author: Archana
  • 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
  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 Video

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 482 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 1573mg 66%
Potassium 797mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 2g
Protein 38g 76%
Vitamin A 9.4%
Vitamin C 6.9%
Calcium 7%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.