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brown rice chicken biryani
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4.52 from 47 votes

Brown Rice Chicken Biryani - Instant Pot

A healthier version of the classic Chicken Biryani made with brown basmati rice, chicken breasts and aromatic spices.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 483kcal



Remaining Ingredients

  • 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
  • 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 2-½ hours, turn Instant Pot to Saute(Hi) mode and add half of the ghee. Add thinly sliced onions, cook stirring frequently for 10 to 12 mins or until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Take out half of the onion and keep it aside for garnishing the biryani.
  • Add remaining to the Instant Pot 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. Note: If you have an air fryer you can use it or perfect golden fried onions.
  • Drain the rice and gently pour over the chicken. Spread the rice evenly over the chicken. Add 1½ teaspoon 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 teaspoon 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. 


Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1574mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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