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.
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!
Biryani pairs very well with a classic Indian Sweet and Spicy Lemon Pickle:
Try my other Biryanis
Here are some of the other biryanis on my blog:
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Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot
- 10 oz paneer block
- 1 cup basmati rice or any long grain rice. Rinsed & soaked for 20 minutes in warm water
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- 2 teaspoon Panchpuran : Indian five-spice blend-fennel, cumin, fenugreek, nigella, mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2-3 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 cup water + 2 tablespoons
- 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. 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.
- 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 recipe
- 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.