Instant Pot Chicken Biryani 

A delicious way to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, this biryani is great with raita, pappad or naan. This size recipe requires a 6-quart Instant Pot. 


  • 10 pieces bone-in chicken: drumsticks, thighs, breast/wing 
  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste 
  • 1 ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder 
  • 2 tsp coriander powder 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • ¼ cup yogurt 
  • ¾ cup mint leaves, chopped 
  • ¾ cup cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • 2 tsp salt, plus to taste 
  • 4 Tbsp ghee 
  • 2 Indian bay leaves (tej patta) *** 
  • 2 green cardamom pods 
  • 3 small-medium onions, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked 20 minutes 
  • Water as needed  
  • 10 strands saffron, soaked in 1 Tbsp water for 5 min. 
  • Garnish: 
  • ½ cup cashew nuts 
  • ½ cup raisins 


Using a sharp knife, score chicken pieces with 2-3 lines on flesh. In a bowl, combine marinade ingredients well: ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, lemon juice, yogurt, ¼ cup each chopped mint and cilantro leaves, 1 tsp salt. Add chicken and let marinate ½ hour. 

In a bowl, soak basmati rice in 2 cups water for 20 minutes; add to strainer to drain/rinse under running water. Set aside. 

Turn Instant Pot on, “Sauté,” with temperature on medium/normal. Add ghee; once hot, add raisins and cashews. Allow them to roast a short while, nuts will gain color and raisins will slightly plump and give off a slight scent. Carefully remove cashews and raisins, letting them cool/drain on paper-towel-lined plate. 

To pot, add Indian bay leaves (or cinnamon stick/cloves) and cardamom pods; stir/sauté 30-45 seconds. Add onions and season with 1 tsp salt. Sauté 3 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring so onions aren’t brown or sticking to the pot.  

Add marinated chicken pieces, combine well. Cancel “Sauté” setting, close lid. Turn steam release valve to seal, select “Manual” setting – high pressure and cooking time of 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes pressure cooking, turn steam release valve to quick/manual pressure release. Open lid; there should be about 1 cup liquid left in pot. Add 2 cups of soaked rice and 1 cup warm water, plus however much else is needed to equal 2 cups liquid to cook the rice. Add 1 tsp salt, mint and cilantro leaves; combine well. Add saffron and soaking water, stir to combine.  

Close pot with lid. Turn steam release valve to seal, select “Manual” setting – high pressure and 5 minutes cooking time. When timer’s done, do a quick pressure release. Open lid, fluff rice with a fork. Adjust salt level as needed. If rice is crisp, re-cover Instant Pot with lid and let rest 10 minutes so rice can soften. 

Serve garnished with chopped herbs and roasted cashews and raisins. 

***Note: If tej patta isn’t available, use 1 inch cinnamon stick or 2 cloves.