Instant Pot Chicken Biryani – Lucknowi Biryani

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This perfect instant pot Chicken Biryani – Lucknowi Biryani is simple and turns out impeccable, every time! The deep color, the tantalizing aroma, and the flavorful separated rice makes this biryani an amazing main dish in our home. This recipe is quick and easy and the leftovers are just as good!

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani – Lucknowi Biryani – What is Biryani?

Biryani is long-grained rice with whole spices as well as ground spices and is layered with lamb, chicken, fish, or vegetables. In chicken biryani the chicken is usually marinated. Typically, a slow cooking method is used in which layers of rice and marinated meat are cooked. The rice is typically parboiled and then cooked with meat. The spice layering makes it incredibly flavorful and it acts as a complete meal. 

How am I going to make Instant Pot Chicken Biryani – Lucknowi Biryani?

If you have been following my blog, my cooking is about convenience and saving time, without losing the authentic taste, and flavors of the actual dish. This instant pot biryani recipe has been cut down to have a faster cooking time.

In this one pot chicken biryani recipe we are going to sauté the whole spices (cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom pods, green cardamom pods, star anise, black peppercorns, mace, and carraway seeds). We then add onions, serrano peppers, salt, and the marinated chicken. We then throw in the spices (ground coriander, ground turmeric, and red chili powder).

We then, add the rice and water and pressure cook it. Once done, we top it off with caramelized onions, raisins, roasted cashews, and saffron.


Skinless chicken breasts. For this recipe you will need 2 chicken breasts, roughly 1.5 pounds, chopped into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Make sure you pat dry the chicken before marinating it.


Long grain basmati rice is key for biryani. I buy mine from Costco or the Indian grocery store. You can also find basmati rice in most grocery stores. I am not very particular about brands. I buy whatever is available. There are several brand names out there like Kirkland, Royal, Daawat, and several others.

Raisins: The traditional recipe uses golden raisins, however, I used California sun-dried organic raisins.

Yogurt: Please use plain Greek yogurt. The regular or low fat yogurt makes the chicken very watery and it can in turn make the biryani soggy.

 Ginger garlic paste: I used the combined packaged ginger garlic paste available in the Indian store. You can also mince equal amounts of fresh ginger and garlic to make your own paste.

Coconut: I like to add coconut in the biryani. It gives it a great flavor. I use the dried desiccated coconut from the Indian store. You can find it all leading grocery stores as well as amazon.

Deglaze: Make sure to deglaze the pot when you add the chicken. The marinade will help with the deglazing process. Scrape off the bottom and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. This will help prevent the burn signal in some of the newer pots.


I made this Biryani with one cup water, the 1st time around. I thought it was slightly mushy because the chicken and marinade released some water too. I recommend using less water in order to get the grains separated. However, if you like your Biryani soft, then you can add 1 cup instead of 3/4 cup water during the cooking process.

The water in the rice needs to be drained out completely before putting it in the pot. This step is key to prevent mushiness.

Marinated Chicken thrown in the pot after sautéing the whole spices and onions.

Rice, marinated chicken, and spices submerged under water before selecting manual.

Tried this recipe yet? Give us a rating, comment below in the reply section and let us know what you think.

Finally, try some of our other recipes:

Rice and Lentil Porridge

Brown Rice Chana Pulao



Instant Pot Chicken Biryani – Lucknowi Biryani

Even though the ingredient list seems long and intimidating, believe me it is isn’t. This recipe is very easy to make.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3



For the Rice




  • Chop the chicken into 1 inch pieces.
  • Grind 2 tsps cashews in 3 tsps water.
  • Mix the marinade ingredients: greek yogurt, ginger garlic paste, cashew paste, red chili powder (cayenne pepper), garam masala and ground turmeric.
  • Add the chicken in the marinade mix. Cover and let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Rinse and soak the rice in 2 cups water for 20 to 30 minutes. When ready to cook discard all the water and make sure there is no residual water.
  • Wash and chop the onions into thin long slices. Wash and finely chop the cilantro and slit the serrano peppers into two long halves.
  • Soak the saffron strands in half and half or milk and set it aside. It will be used for garnish later.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil to the pot.
  • When the oil is hot add cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, star anise, black peppercorns, mace, and caraway seeds.
  • Sauté for 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  • Add the sliced onions and serrano pepper. Keep stirring.
  • When the onions turn golden in roughly 2 to 4 minutes remove a spoonful and keep it a bowl. It will be used for garnish later.
  • Add the chopped chicken. Stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add ground coriander, ground turmeric, garam masala, salt, red chili powder (cayenne pepper), cilantro, and coconut. Let it sauté for a minute until the water dries out. Stir well.
  • Add the drained rice to the pot and gently toss it all together with a spoon.
  • Add water to the pot. Make sure the rice and chicken are sumberged under the water.
  • Press cancel.
  • Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, roast the cashews and raisins (ingredients under garnish) on medium heat in a pan until the cashews brown. Keep stirring and make sure they don’t burn. Transfer in a bowl and set aside.
  • When cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and the quick release the remaining pressure.
  • Transfer the biryani into a serving bowl. Discard the bay leaf and the mace.
  • Garnish with saffron, half and half, roasted cashews, raisins, and caramelized onions that were set aside.


  • Serve the biryani with a side of raita (yogurt containing chopped cucumber or other vegetables, and spices.)


  • This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
  • Ground cayenne pepper and red chili powder can be used interchangeably as both of them make the dish spicy. So if you don’t have red chili powder you can use cayenne pepper instead.
  • This recipe is moderately spicy. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would place it at level 3 if you cook as is with the red chili powder and serrano pepper. If you like your food very spicy you can add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chili powder. If you don’t like spicy food you can avoid the serrano pepper and reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or not add it at all.
Keyword Easy Chicken Biryani, Instant Pot Chicken Biryani, Instant Pot Chicken Lucknowi Biryani, Lucknowi Biryani, Quick Chicken Biryani
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