Amazing Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

My wife and I love Indian cuisine, and one of our favorites is Chicken Biryani. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a dish that combines chicken, basmati rice, onions, and a variety of spices into a “one pot meal” that is absolutely delectable and gluten free.

Now, as with most of the things that I cook in the Instant Pot, the original recipe is not my own, but was created by the wonderful Archana of She’s come up with some really amazing Indian cuisine recipes tailored for the Instant Pot, so make sure you check out her site!

Archana’s original Chicken Biryani recipe is here, and below are the specific modifications I made (with links to some of the ingredients I use):

Marinade Modifications:
3 tsp garam masala (instead of the recommended 2 tsp)
1 tsp ground ginger (instead of 1 tbsp of ground ginger)
1 tsp dried mint leaves (instead of 1/4 cup mint leaves)
¾ cup heavy whipping cream (instead of 3/4 cup of yogurt)

  • I’d like to make a note here about the chili powder used in the recipe. I recommend that you do as Archana recommends and get some Kashmiri chili powder (like this from Amazon, which is what I used). Using the same chili powder as you might for a BBQ recipe is definitely not going to taste the same!

Chicken Modifications:
3 lb boneless skiness thighs (instead of 2 lbs bone-in skinless)

  • Note that you can get even better flavor if you get bone-in skin-on thighs, then debone them and pull just the skin off, not the fat that clings to the muscle. Yes, this is definitely extra work, but I believe the resulting enhancement in the taste was worth it.

Rice Mixture Modifications:
2 cups Basmati rice (instead of 3 cups)
2 cups water (instead of 3 cups)
1 cup raisins (not in the original recipe)

  • Cutting back on the rice further intensifies the flavor of the spices and the chicken, especially if you modify the chicken as I outlined above.
  • As for the raisins, every restaurant I’ve been to serves Chicken Biryani with raisins, so I was actually a bit surprised it wasn’t in Archana’s. Someone once commented to me that in India it’s typically prepared without raisins, unless it’s for a special occasion like a wedding. But since having Chicken Biryani is always a special occasion for us, I add raisins every time I make it!

Following The Recipe

To prepare the Chicken Biryani, follow Archana’s recipe as you normally would after substituting the ingredients, with the following exceptions:

  • After cooking the onions and setting them aside, once the chicken is done sautéing I add the onions in a layer on top. But feel free to save some to use as garnish if you like!
  • After pouring the rice over the chicken and onions, DO NOT mix it in. Just leave the rice as a layer on top, then add the water.
  • Add the raisins on the very top. Then you’re ready to cook under pressure!


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