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boneless chicken biryani served in a bowl, with yogurt and spicy curry on the side

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani Recipe

Making Chicken Biryani in the Instant Pot is the easiest way to make Chicken Biryani. This Instant Pot Chicken Biryani is a One Pot Biryani in the true sense of the term.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 532kcal


For Chicken Marination

  • pounds boneless chicken (thighs)
  • 4 tablespoon yogurt
  • 3 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

For Biryani Masala

  • ½ cup ghee
  • ¼ cup cashews slit
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 big bay leaf
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 7 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 mace (javetri)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 cup sliced onions
  • teaspoon salt divided
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cup water
  • ½-¾ cup chopped coriander leaves or other herbs like mint


Marinating Chicken for Biryani

  • Take pounds of boneless chicken thighs, clean and then cut them into big bite sized pieces.
  • In a bowl, mix together 4 tablespoon yogurt, 3 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin powder, to make a marinade.
  • Apply the marinade to the chicken pieces, ensuring to coat them well.
  • Refrigerate the marinated chicken for 4-6 hours. It's ideal to marinate the chicken the night before you want to make the biryani, but in a pinch, an hour of marination will also be enough.

Preparation for Chicken Biryani

  • Take 2 cups of basmati rice, wash & rinse it well, and soak it fresh water for 30 minutes. When done, strain all the water away.
  • If you have refrigerated the chicken, ensure to take it out of the fridge to thaw at room temperature at-least 20-30 minutes before cooking it.

Making Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

  • Start Instant Pot in saute mode, add ½ cup ghee, and lightly heat it up, for about 2 minutes.
  • Then first add in ¼ cup cashews, and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, to give it a head start, before adding in ¼ cup golden raisins, and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, till the cashews start to change color, and the raisins start balloon-ing up a bit.
  • When done, take out the roasted cashews and raisins, using a slotted spoon (to strain off excess ghee).
  • Now start with adding in the whole spices all together ( 1 big bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon sticks, 20 black peppercorns, 7 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 5 cloves, and 1 mace), and lightly roast it for a minute or so, till they give off a light aroma.
  • Then add in 2 tablespoon chopped ginger and 2 tablespoon chopped garlic together, and lightly roast it for 1-2 minutes, till they start changing color.
  • When done, add in 3 cups sliced onions and teaspoon salt, and saute till the onions turn golden brown in color. It's best to switch the saute mode to high from normal for roasting onions, to cut down on the time it takes to roast the onions. But even on high, it might take about 15 minutes to roast them well. Here also ensure to keep moving the onions around every few minutes, to ensure they don't burn as they are roasted on high heat.
  • Once the onions are done, switch back to saute mode normal, and add in the spice powders all together (2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin powder), and lightly roast them for 2-3 minutes. Here it's best to add a splash of water (2-4 tablespoons) to ensure the masalas don't burn due to high heat, and also adding water will help scrape off anything sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Then add in the marinated chicken, mix it in, and saute for 5-8 minutes, till the chicken is lightly cooked, and not pink on the outside anymore. Then turn off the saute mode.
  • Now first add in 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoon salt, and mix it in.
  • Then add in the soaked and strained basmati rice, and mix it in, and here ensure to press all the rice under the water.
  • At this point, you can also add in half of the roasted raisins and cashews that were kept aside earlier. The other half can be used for garnish at the end.
  • Now close the Instant Pot lid, and ensure it is on sealing.
  • Pressure cook for 6 minutes on high. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release normally for 10 minutes, then manually release all the pressure from the pot, and open the lid.
  • At this point you can add in the freshly chopped coriander ( ½ cup), and the rest of the roasted cashews and raisins.
  • Instant Pot Chicken Biryani is ready to serve.


    Using Bone-In Chicken

    • You can follow the same steps as listed above for making bone-in chicken biryani as well in the Instant Pot, usually with one adjustment - increasing the saute time of chicken based on the size of the chicken pieces, to ensure the chicken is fully cooked through when the biryani is ready.
    • I often use 3 pounds of chicken leg quarters, instead of boneless chicken, keeping everything else the same, and I usually need to saute it for 10-15 minutes, before pressure cooking it.

    Pressure Cooker Chicken Biryani

    • You can follow the same steps as listed above for making chicken biryani in the Indian pressure cooker, with 2 adjustments. 1. Soak the rice for 1 hour instead of 30 minutes. 2. Position the chicken at the bottom & rice at the top, as much as possible.
    • Then pressure cook for 1 whistle, and turn off the gas, and wait for the pressure to release naturally.
    • If the rice is undercooked, after the first whistle, place the pressure cooker on a cast iron pan, and heat it on medium low heat for 10 mins. This will ensure the rice gets cooked without burning the bottom layer.



    1. I know that the quantity of chicken I’ve used in this recipe is on the higher side, because as a family we prefer more chicken in the biryani. You can use lesser quantity of chicken, just adjust the marination masala, chicken cooking time & salt accordingly, and proceed with the rest of the steps as is.
    2. I have also used boneless chicken in the main recipe because my son prefers that, but you can use either boneless or bone-in chicken. If you are using boneless chicken, use chicken thighs, not breast meat, because breast meat is not that suitable for pressure cooking, as it's more likely to be over done, and turn dry and rubbery. If you are using bone-in chicken, just adjust the cooking time of the chicken, like mentioned above.

    Please note: The nutrition values are best estimates provided as a courtesy. The exact values can vary depending on the exact ingredients or brands used. If you rely on them for your specific diet and/or health issues, please consult a registered dietician or nutritionist.


    Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1726mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg