Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao

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Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.

Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao

Chicken Pulao is also much lighter than chicken biryani, and it’s absolutely delicious! If you’re a fan of chicken and rice, you will love this less popular one-pot Indian dish. And bonus, thanks to the pressure cooker it takes about 30 minutes start to finish! You can see more Instant Pot recipes here.

Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.

Guys, I love Indian food! I eat it every chance I can. So when I got my hands on the Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook (affil link) I was all in! This cookbook has so many great Indian recipes for the Instant Pot, including chicken biryani. But I wanted to try something different, something with ingredients that were easy to find and was so happy to make this.

I did slightly adapt it for my taste, I used less liquid, less ghee and less chile peppers but I’ll be honest, I’ve made this quite a few times because it’s really quite delicious. Although they recommend this for 4 servings, I made it for 5 because the portions were really large.

The great thing about chicken pulao is that it’s easy to adapt – you can make it as spicy or mild as you wish, and use whatever spices you prefer.  The cilantro and squeeze of lemon at the end is a must, it really brightens the whole dish. And pictured above on the side is a simple beet raita which is a mix of cooked beets and yogurt.

How To Make Stove Top Chicken Pulao

To make this on the stove, use a heavy pot or Dutch oven and increase the liquid by double. Bring to a boil and let the water simmer, then cover and cook 22 to 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and keep covered, 22 to 24 minutes.

Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.

More Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.
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Instant Pot Indian Chicken and Rice Pulao

396 Cals 35.5 Protein 47.5 Carbs 6.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 5 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Indian
Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao is a lighter cousin of chicken biryani, a great gateway dish for someone new to Indian food. Similar to a rice pilaf only with chicken and aromatic spices.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon ghee , or butter or even oil to make dairy free
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamom pods, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2- inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 hot green chiles, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Measure the rice into a wire-mesh strainer, then rinse under running water for 10 seconds, swishing it around. Repeat once more, then drain and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of the salt.
  • Add the chicken and turn to coat. Set aside, or cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
  • Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the ghee.
  • Add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves and sauté until the spices are aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and browns, about 5 minutes.
  • Cover the pot with a glass lid (or other non-locking lid) that fits to speed up the process.
  • Add the chicken and its marinade, the chiles, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to the pot and stir until the chicken is coated with the spices.
  • Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Add the rice and water and stir well with a wooden spoon, nudging loose any browned bits from the pot bottom. Scrape down the sides of the pot to make sure that most of the rice is submerged in the water.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes on high pressure.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Press the cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Open the pot, sprinkle in the cilantro, and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Use a rice paddle to scoop the rice out of the pot into individual plates, then serve with the lemon wedges on the side.

Stove Top Method

  • To make this on the stove, use a heavy pot or Dutch oven and increase the liquid by double 2 1/2 cups. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until it starts to evaporate, then cover and cook 22 to 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and keep covered, 22 to 24 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 11/2 cups, Calories: 396kcal, Carbohydrates: 47.5g, Protein: 35.5g, Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 513mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1.5g
WW Points Plus: 7
Keywords: chicken pulao, instant pot chicken and rice, instant pot indian chicken pulao, instant pot indian recipes, pressure cooker

Indian Chicken Recipe

Photo credit: Jess Larson

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123 comments

  1. Could you please fix the link to the WW Personal Points? It comes up as Pumpkin Roll instead. Thank you for adding that feature. I am new to WW but had already previously enjoyed many of your recipes. This makes it so convenient.

  2. What is the side dish in the picture? It looks like some sort of potato but there’s no recipe for it. Can you provide the recipe for the side dish. Thank you.

  3. Hi! I am just wondering what the pink side dish is and if there is a recipe for it?

  4. Would this work pot-in-pot method, cooking the rice in a bowl (with its own water) on top of the chicken? It sounds delish, but my kids would not like the rice mixed in with the sauce.

  5. I did this as the stove top version. I think it came out pretty good. Chicken was a touch dry. I marinade the chicken for 8 hours. I didn’t know how many cloves to use so I used a 1/2 tsp ground and it was not overpowering. The rice came out really well. Cilantro and lemon to finish it off. Don’t skip the fresh lemon. It’s a nice touch at the end.

  6. Rice well cooked, used basmiti rice (Carolina) brand. Probably the instruction to push it down in the liquid is key, and I did do that. The only thing different for me was had cardamon seeds not pods, and I forgot to put in a “clove” that was mentioned. I think my chicken was a bit too dry in 6 minutes-try 5? or-I am wondering if not waiting to release pressure for 5 minute–maybe after 2 or 3 might help. That said the chicken was still tender. The seasonings are very gentle and subtle. I just love the fragrance of the combination. I enjoy Indian food and seasonings.

  7. This was AMAZING!  I accidentally used a whole lemon worth of juice but it was still delicious and didn’t need the lemon wedges on the side!  My whole family loved it!!!

  8. Just made for the first time in my IP, and it was perfect! I used thighs instead of breasts but otherwise followed it to the letter. It was delicious with a cucumber raita. My wife loved it, too. It made our kitchen smell like an Indian restaurant!

  9. instructions say to add Cloves .. but Cloves arent listed in Ingrediants .. ??

  10. This was delicious! Indian food can be tricky because of all the spices and steps but this was easy and actually tasted pretty authentic! All plates were licked clean!

  11. This was pretty good, but for the amount of work involved I won’t do it again. I did use ground cumin and cinnamon instead. I added extra water (and was glad I did). It as nice to try a new recipe but I won’t do it again, 

  12. Excellent! The whole family liked it, and my wife and I took leftovers to work for lunch today.

  13. You mention cloves in the instructions, but not in the ingredients. I do have the Indian Instant Pot Cookbook and she says 8 cloves. Is that correct?

    • I made half the recipe and decided to use 2 whole cloves. Also due to comments from other posts decided to cook 15 mins and NR 10 mins. Rice came out perfect and delicious 😋 

  14. So delicious and so homey! Perfect all-year round and appealing to all ages!

  15. I’m looking to try this, and some of the other Indian dishes (looking for some macro friendly Indian I can meal prep) – do you have a recipe for the beet raita? I love beets, but get bored of roasting and then don’t end up eating them!

  16. This was so good!!! We all loved it, kids and adults alike. My 10 year old daughter said that this meal just shot up to her top 10 favorites!!