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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 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
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