Lamb Dum Biryani is an extremely popular meat and rice casserole from the Indian subcontinent, in which nutty basmati rice are flavored with aromatic spices like garam masala and saffron, layered with marinated meat, and steam cooked to perfection.
Two Styles of Cooking Biryani
Cooking biryani is an acquired skill! There are two ways of making biryani: the Kachchi Biryani (raw meat biryani), and the Pakki Biryani (cooked meat biryani).
In Kachchi Biryani (raw meat biryani), the meat is marinated with spices and yogurt overnight. Basmati rice is cooked half way through and then the two are layered together in a pot, and slow cooked on dum (steam), which is created by sealing the pot with wet dough. The traditional recipe is time consuming process, in which time and cooking temperature needs to be monitored and adjusted a few times to avoid over, or under cooking the meat.
Pakki Biryani (cooked meat biryani), is a three-step cooking process for Biryani, cook the rice, cook the meat and then cook the two together. The meat is marinated in yogurt and spices, and cooked till it’s almost done. Partially cooked basmati rice are then layered on top and cooked through with the meat and it’s gravy, using the steam cooking technique. Continue Reading…
One Pot Chana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Biryani, is a combination of two super popular Indian dishes, Chana Masala & Biryani. Chana Masala is a vegetarian Indian curry which is made by cooking beans or ‘Chickpeas’, in a spicy tomato gravy. I season it with toasted Indian spices like garam masala, coriander and cumin, and is garnish it with fresh chopped cilantro. Biryani is a popular rice dish, in which rice is cooked with Indian spiced meats or vegetables. In this dish, I have brought the two recipes together in one pot!
Unlike most other Biryani recipes I make, I don’t use any yogurt in this one, which makes it perfect for a vegan diet. I start by making a Chana Masala Curry, with fresh tomatoes, aromatics and Indian spices, and then cook the basmati rice in that curry. The result is a perfect blend of flavors, that is unbelievably delicious!
Instant Pot Recipe for Chana Masala Biryani
I prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. I prefer to pressure cook this recipe. The reason being, that I want the Chana Masala Curry flavors to infuse with the basmati rice, and vice versa. And pressure cooking helps me accomplish that. Even though this recipe is a two-step process, all the magic happens in the same pot. I prepare the Chana Masala Curry using dried chickpeas. I rinse them and soak the chickpeas overnight, drain them and then prepare the curry. Then, I cook the pre-soaked and drained rice in that curry. Cooking with dried beans requires a little bit of planning ahead, since you have to soak them, but it’s still a pretty hand-off recipe, as you can see in the video.
Using Canned Garbanzo Beans
There are times when I forget to soak chickpeas, or just don’t have the time to do that. In which case, I use canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas). That reduces the cooking time by almost 15-17 minutes! By using canned chickpeas, I can make this Chana Masala Biryani in 30 minutes. All I do is, rinse and drain the chickpeas, and add it to the curry masala. You can make this Biryani more hearty by adding vegetables like carrots and potatoes, along with rice. Since the chickpeas are already cooked, I pressure cook everything together, for 6 minutes.
Using Quinoa Instead of Rice
Sometimes, I make Chana Masala Biryani with Quinoa. I rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. And, instead of adding rice, I add Quinoa and cook on Manual or Pressure cook, for 2 minutes with natural pressure release. If I’m making the Chana Masala Curry from dried chickpeas, I increase the cook time to 30 minutes. This ensures that the chickpeas are cooked and tender before adding the quinoa.
Serving Suggestion for Chana Masala Biryani
Biryanis are traditionally served with Cucumber Raita (Cucumber Yogurt Dip). I love this combination as the cool yogurt and the crunchy cucumber contrast and balance the earthy flavors of garam masala really well. For a vegan option, serve it with a fresh Garden Salad, with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and lettuce, and dress it with a simple lemon vinaigrette. You’ll love the combination.
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One Pot Chana Masala Biryani / Chickpeas Biryani (Vegan)
1/2 teaspoon Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon warm-hot water (I pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so)
Prep: Rinse and soak basmati rice while you make chana masala. Slice onions and de-seed green chillies if you prefer mild heat. Chop tomatoes. Finely chop ginger garlic or pulse few times in a mini food processor.
Let's start by making Chana Masala. Heat oil on Saute mode in Instant Pot. Add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add onions and chillies and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and all spices listed under 'Chana Masala". Stir well and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and water. Stir well and close the lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Bean/Chili mode or Manual for 25 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, adjust cooking time to 6 minutes.
Time to put together Biryani. After manual pressure release (QR), open the lid. Add drained rice. Sprinkle the remaining salt (listed under "Biryani"). Top with chopped cilantro & mint followed by soaked saffron (with liquid) and fried onions. Press down with a spatula gently. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 6 minutes.
Open lid after natural pressure release. Using a fork, fluff the rice. Enjoy Biryani with a Garden Salad with lemon Vinaigrette for a Vegan option, or, a Cucumber Raita (spicy Cucumber-yogurt) dip.
This Biryani can be made in the traditional stove-top pressure cooker like Hawkins or Prestige too. Follow the procedure to cook Chana Masala on medium-high flame. After 2 whistles, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Manually release the pressure by lifting the pressure weight. Open the lid, follow the steps of layering rice and other ingredients. Close the lid and cook on medium-high heat for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
Quinoa Vegetable Biryani/Pilaf is my healthy twist on a popular Indian classic, Vegetable Biryani! This recipe is an adaptation of my go-to Biryani recipe. Biryani is a popular Indian rice casserole, where long grain basmati rice is cooked with meat or vegetables in Indian spices. I use the same recipe, but replace Basmati rice with Quinoa. I add vegetables and paneer (Indian cottage cheese), adding more protein and vitamins to this dish. Fresh herbs like mint and cilantro add a fresh and floral contrast to the earthy flavors of Biryani Masala. Nuts like almonds and cashews add richness and texture to the rice. I serve it with a side of Cucumber Raita (Yogurt dip), and enjoy a healthy and complete meal in less than 20 minutes.
Even though my family’s love for the classic biryani stands intact, this dish is my effort to introduce a healthier Biryani recipe, so we can enjoy is more often. And the result is simply delicious. It’s quick to make, cooks at lightning speed in my Instant Pot, so a big one-pot weeknight hit in my family!
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, 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, so 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!
This biryani can be enjoyed 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!
In this video, I’ve made this Biryani in my 3 Qt Instant Pot, but it can be made in any pressure cooker, or on the stove-top too. Check out Notes section, for stove-top details.
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or juice of 1/2 a lime
1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
INSTANT ONION PICKLE: (Optional)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper, cube paneer and keep aside. Rinse rice and soak in warm water for 20 minutes.
Turn on Instant pot on SAUTE. When hot, add oil. Add panch phoran seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes followed by all dry spices and stir. 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.
Open lid after natural pressure release (NPR), fluff rice gently with a fork. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Instant Onion Pickle: Mix together all ingredients under "Instant Onion Pickle". Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Ready to serve!
STOVE TOP: 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.
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 orlamb. The vegetarian biryani is typically made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and fresh vegetables.
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 Biryani– Kachhi (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:
Follow all instructions and assemble the biryani in the pressure cooker. Close the cooker and place it on medium-hi heat.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
I like to serve Chicken biryani warm, with a Cucumber Raita (cucumber-yogurt dip) and a garden salad, drizzled with fresh lime vinaigrette.
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
Fried onions If making fried onions yourself, use one of the two methods described above for 'Fried Onions'. Skip this step if using store-bought.
Marinating Chicken 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 rice 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.
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.
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!