A few years ago I joined “the cult” and purchase the Instant Pot. I was reluctant at first as I already owned a pressure cooker and could not see how the Instant Pot could be any different. But let me tell you my friends: it is amazing and makes my life much easier. My favorite thing to cook in it is any kind of broth or stew. Today, however, I stepped out of my comfort zone and made this aromatic dish:

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

Yield: 8 (2 cups) servings


½ cup of coconut milk

2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice

5 large garlic cloves, minced

1 (2 inches) knob of ginger, grated

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

700 grams (1.5 pounds) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces

2 bay leaves

1 (2-inches) cinnamon stick

1-star anise

4 whole cloves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 green cardamom pods

2 black cardamom pods

1 tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 large carrot, diced

1 ½ cup frozen peas

2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes

2 cups chicken broth

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)


Make the marinade by combining coconut milk, lime or lemon juice, garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add chicken and coat thoroughly with the marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Turn the Instant Pot to Saute. Select the “Hi” setting. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves, cumin, and fennel seeds and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to one minute. Add the onion and jalapeno pepper and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the peas and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the chicken with the marinade and stir-fry for about 7-9 minutes.

Pour the rice on top of the chicken (do not mix). Add the chicken broth. Close the Instant Pot and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes have passed, release any remaining pressure by opening the valve.

Stir the chicken and the rice well and, if desired,  garnish with chopped cilantro leaves before serving.