Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pressure Cooker Chicken Biriyani

Now don't get fooled by the words "pressure cooker" in the title and turn your nose up thinking how authentic can a biriyani be if its made in a pressure cooker! Because then you'd be missing out on a lipsmacking recipe that's so easy to make that even amateurs can get it right! I know many people who are hesitant to try out a biriyani at home, even though they love it, for fear that it's a complicated process. Well, if you're one of them, then this recipe is the one you should start with. My mom used to make this on weekends when she had less time to cook for us or too tired to try something more elaborate-and it never disappointed! One unique factor in this recipe is the absence of any garam masala or biriyani masala-and yet the rice and meat are so flavorful!

On a side note, biriyani purists might smirk at this and call it a "pulao/pilaf". Whether you think a biriyani is rice layered with meat/vegetables or think it should be rice and meat/vegetables cooked together, this is one recipe that will satisfy both camps-take my word for it! 

To serve 4 people with a hearty appetite

  1. 3 cups rice (Basmati or jeera rice-"neychottari")
  2. 500 g chicken
  3. 5-6 each of cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom
  4. 1 bayleaf
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 4 large onions, sliced fine
  7. 4 large tomatoes, diced
  8. 2 teaspoon crushed ginger
  9. 2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  10. A handful of slit green chillies, according to your tolerance/liking for heat
  11. 10-12 cashewnuts, ground to a paste
  12. 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (Khus Khus), ground to a paste
  13. 1/2 cup of coriander and mint leaves, chopped
  14. 1/ cup thick yoghurt
  15. 3 cups water
  16. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  17. 2 teaspoons ghee/oil
  18. Salt to taste
     For the garnish
  1. 1 medium size onion, sliced thin
  2. A handful of cashewnuts
  3. A handful of raisins
  4. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Soak the rice for 15 minutes and drain the water off completely.
  • In a pan, heat 2 teaspoons ghee/oil and tip in the rice, stirring for about 5 minutes until it is semi-crisp. Keep aside.
  • In a small skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil and fry the onions until golden brown (just keep it on simmer and leave it alone, stirring occasionally). Remove and keep aside. Repeat with the cashewnuts and raisins and keep aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat 1/4 cup oil and tip in the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaf.
  • When they start to sizzle, add the onions. Fry on medium heat until they turn golden brown.
  • Now add the tomatoes, stir and let cook until it turns a nice pulpy mash.
  • Then add the ginger and garlic and green chillies and fry again for about 1 minute.
  • Mix in the coriander and mint leaves and turmeric powder and fry for another minute.
  • Add the yoghurt, cashew paste, Khus Khus paste and chicken and salt and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken is well coated with the other ingredients.
  • Lastly, add the rice and water.
  • Close the pressure cooker, put on the weight, and after the first whistle, take it off the stove.
  • Leave unopened for half an hour.
  • When the time is up, open the pressure cooker, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the fried onions, cashewnuts and raisins.
  • Serve hot with a side of raitha, pickle and pappad.

  • This is easily adaptable to chicken, mutton, or vegetables as you wish. Adjust the cooking time accordingly for each.
  • Modify the quantity of rice versus the chicken according to the number of people you're cooking for, but remember that the timing remains the same (for chicken), irrespective of the quantity. If using mutton, you might have to cook a little longer, but I'm unsure of how much for this particular case.

If you'd like to try a more elaborate and authentic Malabar style biriyani, check out a previous recipe here. If you're looking for even easier pulao recipes, check out two microwave recipes I'd blogged about before, Chicken Yakhni Pulao and The No-Fry Chicken Pulao.

I am linking this to the following blog events:

over at The Kerala Kitchen, hosted this month by Sarah at Spoonful of Delight

and Foodie Friday

PostScript: Following an unprecedented surge of this recipe in the popularity ratings, I have also added this to the Star Recipes collection over at

Also taking part in
Hearth and Soul Hop at Sunshine and Smile


Renee said...

Hey Karishma.. I'm one of those hesitant people so I make it only for occassions. But this looks yummm

Biny Anoop said...

i will agree with dat cos i am just eatg my pressure cooked mutton biriyani...i do agree its easy and tasty...and ur chicken biriyani looks yummy...sure gud 100%

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Delicious and easy way to make biriyani...

divya said...

Wow tempting and delicious,looks so inviting.

Swati Sapna said...

hey karishma! must admit i'm one of those biryani purists who likes only her authentic hyderabadi biryani made the painful way :D
But this sounds so easy and i love the fact that there is no store-bough biryani/pulao masala. am def going to try this next time the biryani craving hits :)

Anonymous said...

kary good receipe tomorrows menu is ready.

Ameena said...

I am SO intimidated by the pressure cooker...I know it could make my life 100X easier but I simply cannot get myself to use it!

Brilliant looks delicious!

kankana said...

I think if you do a lot of great dish in pressure cooker. Although I have to say I hate using pressure cooker these days. I used to make awsm chocolate cake in pressure cooker :) This is going in my wish list .. have to try this .

Katerina said...

This biriyani is for me most definitely! And I can find all the ingredients you listed in my supermarket or even in my closet! Thanks dear, have a great day!

Zepharia Andres said...

My idea of beauty is somebody that doesn't have to try too much, someone who is
effortless and fresh. See the
link below for more info.


Zepharia Andres said...

My idea of beauty is somebody that doesn't have to try too much, someone who is
effortless and fresh. See the
link below for more info.