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biryani

Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot

Achaari Paneer Biryani- combining two popular dishes, Achaari Paneer and Biryani in one pot by Spice Cravings. Achaari paneer biryani combines paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), cooked with pickling spices, with biryani, which is rice cooked with Indian spices. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

This dish brings together the best of both worlds- Achaari Paneer and Biryani.  Achaari paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian dish where paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), are cooked with pickling spices (achaar), giving the dish a subtle pickle-like zing.  Biryani, on the other hand, is flavorful rice cooked with spiced meat or vegetables.  In this dish, I merged these two favorites and created Achaari Paneer Biryani!

This dish is milder than your average vegetable biryani.  If you want to bump up the spice level, increase the garam masala and by another teaspoon.  This quick and easy, super delicious meal has become one of our weeknight staples!   Add more vegetables to it, like carrots, beans, potato, and you have yourself a delicious Vegetable & Paneer Biryani!

There are many theories about the origin of ‘Biryani’.  The most popular theory is that biryani originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals.  As per this this theory, Biryani is an Indian adaptation of the Persian Pilaf.   Most people in northern India typically make biryani with basmati (long grain) rice, but you can make it with any rice you prefer.

In the video, I made this Biryani in my 3 Qt Instant Pot, but it can be made in any pressure cooker, or on the stove-top too as per the recipe notes below.

Homemade Garam Masala:

In this recipe, I use the popular Indian spice-blend, called garam masala, for flavoring the biryani.  I like to make my own garam masala blend.  It takes under 15 minutes to make enough to last me a month, and the end results are so worth the effort.  If you have the time to make yours at home too, try this easy recipe for Homemade Garam Masala.

Garam Masala Recipe, Indian spice mix
Homemade Garam Masala Recipe

Serving Suggestions

We enjoy pairing this achaari paneer biryani with cucumber raita (yoghurt dip), or with a quick onion relish.   You can make the onion relish by mixing together sliced onions, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne!

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita
Cucumber Raita

Biryani pairs very well with a classic Indian Sweet and Spicy Lemon Pickle:

Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka achaar by Spice Cravings. Sweet-n-Spicy-lemon pickle, or 'Nimbu ka Achaar' is a super popular condiment in India. This quick & easy version takes 30 minutes using the Instant Pot. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian
Sweet and Spicy Lemon Pickle

Try my other Biryanis

Here are some of the other biryanis on my blog:

Instant pot Lamb dum Biryani / pressure cooker Lamb Biryani by Spice Cravings. Lamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where meat marinated in bold Indian spices is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice and aromatics like onions & herbs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #Instant pot Lamb dum Biryani / pressure cooker Lamb Biryani by Spice Cravings. Lamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where meat marinated in bold Indian spices is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice and aromatics like onions & herbs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry
Lamb Dum Biryani

Chana Masala Biryani
Chana Masala Biryani

Quionoa vegetable biryani. A healthy twist to your everyday vegetarian biryani by Spice Cravings. Quinoa Vegetable Biryani/Pilaf is my healthy twist on a popular Indian classic, Vegetable Biryani! I replace rice with Quinoa in this recipe. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian
Quinoa Vegetable Biryani

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot
Chicken Biryani

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Achaari Paneer Biryani- combining two popular dishes, Achaari Paneer and Biryani in one pot by Spice Cravings. Achaari paneer biryani combines paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), cooked with pickling spices, with biryani, which is rice cooked with Indian spices. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian
Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Achaari paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian dish where paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), are cooked with pickling spices (achaar), giving the dish a subtle pickle-like zing.  Biryani, on the other hand, is flavorful rice cooked with spiced meat or vegetables.  In this dish, I merged these two favorites and created Achaari Paneer Biryani!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 420 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
INSTANT ONION PICKLE: (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper, cube paneer and keep aside. Rinse rice and soak in warm water for 20 minutes.
  2. Turn on Instant pot on SAUTE. When hot, add oil. Add panch phoran seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. Next, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes followed by all dry spices and stir.  Then, add onion, bell pepper and vinegar. Stir and sauté for 1 minute. Add drained rice, paneer, water and stir well. Close lid. Vent set to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL for 6 minutes.
  3. Open lid after natural pressure release (NPR), fluff rice gently with a fork. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Instant Onion Pickle
  1. Mix together all ingredients under "Instant Onion Pickle".  Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Ready to serve!

Stove top recipe
  1. In a deep sauce pan or a wide skillet, follow all instructions. Add 1.5 cups water and cook covered for 8 minutes on medium heat.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 420 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 755mg 31%
Potassium 243mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 47g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 3g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 7.7%
Vitamin C 37%
Calcium 37.3%
Iron 6.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot | Chicken and Rice

Instant pot Chicken Biryani by Spice Cravings. Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Chicken Biryani is a rice-based dish, which is made by steam-cooking aromatic basmati rice, with chicken marinated in yogurt and fragrant Indian spices.  The process of cooking the meat and rice in steam is called Dum, where the cooking vessel is sealed with wet dough and an airtight environment is created for cooking.  Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot, is my simplified, convenient and one-pot recipe, that gets it done in under 30 minutes!

Biryani is typically made with long grain Basmati Rice and has many variations all over India.  It is traditionally made with chicken or lamb.  The vegetarian biryani is typically made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and fresh vegetables.
Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices.. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian #curry #Biryani #Rice

There are many theories about the origin of ‘Biryani’.  From what I’ve read about it, I believe that it originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals.  As per this this theory, Biryani is an Indian adaptation of the Persian Pilaf.

Two Styles of Biryani:

There are two basic ways of cooking a BiryaniKachhi (meaning ‘raw’) Biryani, in which marinated meat is cooked with partially cooked rice.  Since the rice is 50% cooked before adding to the biryani pot, I don’t add any additional water in this recipe.  The juices released by the meat and marinade are enough to finish the cooking the rice through.  The result is a perfect harmony of flavors.  The rice often turns out multi-colored, depending on what it was closest to in the pot– meat, fried onions or saffron.

The other way of making biryani is Pakki (meaning ‘cooked’) Biryani,  where I prepare a meat curry first, and then cook the rinsed rice in that curry.  I find that between the two, the Kacchi Biryani seems to be the more popular one and is served in restaurants, world over.  Traditionally, this is a slow-cooked recipe that takes a couple of hours to make.  I’ve made a 30-minute version of it using my electric pressure cooker- the Instant Pot.

In this recipe for Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot, I use a non-traditional ingredient, Smoked Paprika.  Paprika, adds a smoky-peppery taste, and color, which infuses in the meat when the biryani is steam-cooked.  You can use Kashmiri Red Chili Powder instead of paprika if that’s what you have on hand.  Occasionally, I also add a teaspoon of Chaat Masala to the marinade.  Chaat Masala adds a nice zing to Chicken Biryani, which my family really enjoys.

Entertaining with this Recipe:

Multiplying this recipe is easy.  To double up this recipe, I create alternate layers of chicken and rice, basically repeating step 3 in the order mentioned.

Before I got my Instant Pot, I used to cook it in my stove-top pressure cooker.  Here’s how:

  1. Follow all instructions and assemble the biryani in the pressure cooker.  Close the cooker and place it on medium-hi heat.
  2. As soon as the first whistle goes, reduce heat to medium.  Place a flat skillet(frying pan) on the stove and place the pressure cooker on top of that.  This will ensure that your chicken doesn’t burn at the bottom of your pressure cooker.  Continue cooking on medium-high heat for 6 minutes.

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices.. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian #curry #Biryani #Rice

Homemade Garam Masala:

In this recipe, I use a popular Indian spice-blend, called garam masala, for flavoring the chicken, as well as the rice.  I like to make my own garam masala blend.  It takes under 15 minutes to make enough to last me a month, and the end results are so worth the little effort.  If you have the time to make yours at home too, try this easy recipe for Homemade Garam Masala.

Garam Masala Recipe, Indian spice mix

Making Fried Onions for Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

I feel that fried onions are a huge contributor of flavor in any Biryani.  I mostly make it them at home, but that takes a bit of time.  When I’m short on time, I use store-bought fried onions from Trader Joe’s, and those work great for Biryani.  When I am preparing them at home, I use one of these two ways:

  1. I slice 2 medium onions thinly.  I heat the Instant pot on SAUTE (high), or, a griddle on medium high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons ghee or oil and add the onions.  It is important to keep stirring every 3-4 minutes till the onions are golden brown, which takes around 12-14 minutes, depending on the size of the cooking pot.  The wider the surface area, the quicker they brown.
  2. Alternatively, I toss thinly sliced onions with melted ghee or oil.  Pre-heat the oven to 425F and cook the onions for about 20 minutes, till they are golden brown.  This is a nice hands-off way of making fried onions.  I typically make mine using this method, and while the onions are cooking, I do the prep-work for Biryani.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve Chicken biryani warm, with a Cucumber Raita (cucumber-yogurt dip) and a garden salad, drizzled with fresh lime vinaigrette.

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita
Cucumber Raita

More Biryani/Pilaf recipes that you may enjoy:

instant pot Lamb Biryani
Lamb Biryani in Instant Pot
Quinoa vegetable Biryani garammasalakitchen.com
Quinoa Vegetable Biryani
Achaari Paneer Biryani- combining two popular dishes in one pot, garam masala kitchen
Achaari Paneer Biryani (Veg)
Chana Masala Biryani
Chana Masala Biryani

Rate this Recipe

If you tried this recipe, please give a star ★ rating.

5 from 1 vote
Instant pot Chicken Biryani by Spice Cravings. Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian
Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Chicken Biryani is a rice-based dish, which is made by steam-cooking aromatic basmati rice, with chicken marinated in yogurt and fragrant Indian spices.   Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot, is my simplified, convenient and one-pot recipe, that gets it done in under 30 minutes!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Rice
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 628 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
MARINADE for CHICKEN:
FOR PARTIALLY COOKING RICE
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice or long grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt we're adding more salt than normal, since we will strain the rice before using
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
BIRYANI
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted : put before shutting lid
  • 10 whole cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala : put before shutting lid
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro & mint
  • 1/4 cup fried onion store bought
CUCUMBER-MINT RAITA (Yogurt Dip- mix everything together and refrigerate till serving):
  • 1 english cucumber chopped fine
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar optional, but highly recommended
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
FRIED ONIONS(If making your own)
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ghee oil for sautéing
Instructions
Fried Onions (skip this step if using store bought fried onions)
  1. Instant Pot or Stove top method: Slice 2 medium onions thinly.   Heat the Instant pot on SAUTE (high), or a griddle on medium high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons ghee or oil and add the onions. It is important to keep stirring every 3-4 minutes till the onions are golden brown, which takes around 12-14 minutes, depending on the size of the cooking pot. The wider the surface area, the quicker they brown.

    Oven method: Toss thinly sliced onions with melted ghee or oil.  Pre-heat the oven to 425F and cook the onions for about 20 minutes, till they are golden brown. This is a nice hands-off way of making fried onions. I typically make mine using this method, and while the onions are cooking, I do the prep-work for Biryani.

Marinating Chicken
  1. Prepare marinade by mixing together yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, ginger-garlic paste, salt, spices, 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro & mint. Mix well. Add the chicken thighs and coat well with marinade. Keep aside while you partially boil the rice.

Partially Cooking the Rice
  1. Rinse basmati rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have time, soak them for 15 minutes in warm water. Strain rice. You can partially cook the rice in a microwave or stove-top. 

    Microwave: Place rice, water, salt, ghee and garam masala in an oven safe bowl, and cook for 10 minutes. Strain the rice and keep aside. 

    If using the stove-top method, boil 4 cups of water in a sauce pan, add rice, salt, garam masala and ghee/oil. Bring back to a boil and cook rice on high-heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and strain the rice.

Cooking the Biryani
  1. Turn on the Instant Pot on sauté mode. If the yogurt you used for marinating the chicken was thick, start by adding 1/4 cup water in the inner pot followed by chicken along with it's marinade. This will prevent the chicken from burning. Layer chicken evenly. Top with the remaining marinade. Layer the partially boiled rice evenly all over the chicken. Sprinkle fried onions on top followed by chopped cilantro-mint. Add cashews and sprinkle 1 teaspoon garam masala. Pour the saffron-milk evenly followed by melted butter.
  2. Close the lid. Turn off sauté. Press Manual (High pressure) for 6 minutes, while the vent is set to sealing position. You can manually release the pressure (QR) right after, or, let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes (NPR 5-10) and then release the remaining pressure manually. I prefer QR though. Open the lid and carefully fluff up the biryani with a fork, without breaking the rice. Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot base, to stop the cooking process. Enjoy with a cucumber-yogurt dip!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 628 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 1761mg 73%
Potassium 723mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 8g
Protein 31g 62%
Vitamin A 15.8%
Vitamin C 9.3%
Calcium 19.7%
Iron 15.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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