In this Achari Paneer Biryani, I merge two Indian favorites, Achari Paneer and Biryani. Nutty basmati rice cooked with soft paneer, and seasoned with tangy pickling spices like mustard, fenugreek, cumin, fennel and nigella seeds. Here’s a 30-minute Instant Pot recipe for this tasty one-pot meal!
30-Minute Vegetarian One-Pot Meal
Achaari paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian dish in which 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!
What is 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. The nutty flavors and fluffy texture of basmati rice really elevates this dish.
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.
Serving Suggestion for Achari Paneer Biryani
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!
Achari Paneer Biryani also pairs very well with a classic Indian Sweet and Spicy Lemon Pickle.
More Instant Pot Biryani Recipes from my Kitchen
Achari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper, cube paneer and keep aside. Rinse rice and soak in warm water for 15 minutes.
- 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 Pressure Cook or Manual for 6 minutes (high Pressure).
- After cooking time is up, carefully release pressure manually by moving the pressure knob to 'venting' in Duo models, or pushing it down in Ultra models.
- Open the lid after the pin drops. Let the biryani sit uncovered for 5 minutes. After that, using a fork fluff up the biryani. Garnish with cilantro and serve with pickled onions.
Instant Onion Pickle
- Mix together all ingredients under “Instant Onion Pickle”. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Ready to serve!
Stove top recipe
- In a deep sauce pan or a wide skillet, follow all instructions. Add 1.5 cups water and cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat.