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two bowls of chickpea biryani and raita on the side
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4.75 from 56 votes

Instant Pot Chickpea Biryani

An easy and wholesome vegetarian Biryani with plump chickpeas cooked in caramelized onions and spices over fragrant basmati rice
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5
Calories: 519kcal


  • 1 cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight in warm water (will be 2 cups soaked)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee divided
  • 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic grated
  • 2 green chillies slit into half (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or any mild red chili powder
  • cups water to pressure cook chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala



  • Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat half of the ghee.
  • Add onions and saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are caramelized. Take out half of the onion and reserve for garnishing the biryani. Note: You can also use the air fryer for this step to make golden fried onions.
  • Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes. Drain after 20 minutes and keep aside.
  • Add remaining ghee to the Instant Pot with half of the caramelized onions already in the pot. Add drained chickpeas, ginger, garlic, chilies, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, salt, and water. Mix well.
  • Close the Instant pot and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Pressure Cook for 20 minutes followed by a quick release.
  • Stir the chickpeas well. Spread the chopped mint and cilantro evenly over the chickpeas. Add drained rice, salt, and water. Make sure all the rice is under the water. Close the Instant Pot lid with the pressure valve to sealing. Pressure Cook for 6 mins. Allow 5 mins natural pressure release.
  • Open the Instant Pot and garnish with the reserved caramelized onions and cilantro. Gently fluff the rice. 
  • Serve with cucumber raita and lime wedges.



If the top layer of rice looks a bit undercooked, simply fluff the top layer of the rice with a fork and keep the Instant Pot for 5 more minutes. 
Use oil instead of ghee to make the Biryani vegan. 
To make simple cucumber raita, mix 2 peeled and diced Persian cucumbers with 1 cup of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro. 

Variations for Chickpea Biryani:

  1. Add a teaspoon of black peppercorn for additional spice.
  2. Add 1 to 2 diced tomatoes along with the chickpeas for a tangy flavor.
  3. Substitute ghee with oil for a Vegan Chickpea Biryani.
  4. If using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain the chickpeas and skip the initial pressure cooking step. Add only ½ cup of water along with the chickpeas. Layer over soaked white rice and pressure cook for 6 minutes.
  5. To make chickpea biryani with brown rice, simply layer rinsed brown rice over the soaked and uncooked chickpeas. Increase the pressure cook time to 25 minutes. Same water proportions will work. Also, no need to soak the brown rice since 25 minutes is a good time for brown rice to cook.


Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 1487mg | Potassium: 528mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 4mg
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