Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani

Easy Vegetable Biryani made in the Instant Pot! Basmati rice cooked with spices and vegetable makes this biryani one of my favorite one pot meals. Packed with so much flavor, this biryani is also gluten-free!
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Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani – fragrant basmati rice cooked with whole spices, herbs and vegetables. This easy biryani is packed with so much flavor, is also vegan and gluten-free. While it tastes great on its own, I enjoy it with a side of raita (yogurt dip).

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group would share/feature vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

vegetable biryani in a black bowl with a bowl of yogurt on the sideDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here

I always find it very hard to get back to a routine after a break. Since I spent most of March in bed, now I am finding it difficult to get back to my daily routine. Everything feels like a task, even cooking! Isn’t it strange how habits change so quickly. I know I will get back to it pretty soon and I am trying my best but it hasn’t been easy. I haven’t gone to the gym in ages and to go back? Well that will take some extra motivation on my part! On top of it Sarvesh keeps telling me to take it easy. He’s right though, I get so tired these days so I really shouldn’t push myself.

Anyway amidst all these challenges of getting back to life, I took out my Instant Pot after a while and made this vegetable biryani! I have become so used to my IP, that now I can hardly think to cook in anything else. This happened because of my cookbook! For 4 to 5 months, I used my Instant Pot 24 x 7 testing recipes. In fact I have three instant pots, not that we need three when are only 2 in the house! But because I had to test so many recipes for the book in a little time frame, I just couldn’t do with one IP. I was testing 2 to 3 recipes simultaneously and I needed extra IPs for that so Sarvesh got me 2 more.

instant pot vegetable biryani in a black plate with sliced onion and lemons

Now I am done with those crazy days of recipe testing for the book but I have become to used to the Instant Pot that unknowingly I always take it out when I think of making dinner. I think my hands just reach out to it on its own! So yesterday I took it out and made this vegetable biryani. I am always excited to share Instant Pot recipe with you guys especially when it turns out this good. You guys, this is just the easiest vegetable biryani ever! I call it the lazy cook method for making biryani!

Traditionally biryani making is a long process. You cook the rice and the veggies and then layer them and then cook them over low heat. This is like a super easy recipe to make biryani without compromising on taste. It’s just one pot, few minutes of prep work and you will have delicious biryani ready in no time! By the way, I have a vegetable biryani recipe in my book too but that involves more ingredients (and also tastes amazing!) but I just thought it would be nice to share an easy version of the same with you guys on the blog!

overhead shot of vegetable biryani in a black bowl

What all is in this Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani?

whole spices: cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns and cumin seeds

ground spices: garam masala and smoked paprika

vegetables: potato, onion, carrots, green peas

nuts & herbs: cashews and fresh cilantro

& of course basmati rice!

instant pot vegetable biryani in a black plate with sliced onion and lemons and bowl of yogurt

If you ask me, a good biryani depends a lot on the type of rice you use. You of course have to use basmati rice for a good biryani, however try to get the one with extra long grains. I use this basmati rice called the XXL Sela Basmati Rice and it has really long grains. The resulting pulao/biryani is always so good when I use this rice! I highly recommend it!

This is vegan/vegetable biryani so you may use any vegetable of your choice. I have used potato, carrots and green peas here. I just won’t recommend using cauliflower here because it will turn out super mushy or if you want to use it, make sure to cut it into large pieces and then use in the recipe. You may also add paneer or tofu to this recipe. This fragrant instant pot vegetable biryani is packed with so much flavor especially with the addition of all the spices and fresh cilantro.

I went easy on the ground spices and used only a bit of garam masala and smoked paprika in this recipe. You may add more spices if you like, for example ground cumin or ground coriander. I thought these two spices were just perfect because the biryani gets so much flavor from the whole spices that you don’t need a ton of ground spices. As you guys know, I can’t handle much heat so I have only used 1 green chili here. You may use more green chilies or may even add cayenne/red chili powder if you like spicy food.

vegetable biryani in a black bowl with a bowl of yogurt on the side

This instant pot vegetable biryani is a one pot meal which is sure to enjoyed by your entire family. It’s also vegan & gluten-free! If you are looking for an easy dinner to make this weekend, I suggest you give this recipe a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It is best enjoyed with a side of raita and chutney.

Method

Wash and rinse the basmati rice until water turns clear. Then soak it in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. While the rice is soaking, chop all the veggies. Also soak the frozen green peas in warm water for 5-10 minutes. Once 20 minutes are up, drain the water from the rice and set it aside. Also drain the water from the green peas and set it aside.

Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil to the pot. To the hot oil, add bay leaf, green cardamom, whole cloves, black peppercorns and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant.

Then add the sliced onions, along with the green chili and cashews. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onion turn light brown. The cashews will also turn little brown by now.

Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add 1 tablespoon water at this point and deglaze the pot. Scrape and remove all the burnt bits that may have been there due to sauteing the onions. Don’t skip this step else the pot might not come to pressure.

Then add the vegetables – potatoes, carrots, green peas. Also add the chopped cilantro, garam masala, smoked paprika and salt.

Add the drained rice to the pot and gently toss it all together with a spoon.

Add water to the pot. Do not stir anything at this point.

Close the pot with its lid and then press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.

Serve this instant pot vegetable biryani with a side of raita like this mango mint raita or spinach raita!

overhead shot of vegetable biryani in a black bowl garnished with lemon wedge, sliced onion and green chili

 

Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani

vegetable biryani in a black bowl with a bowl of yogurt on the side
Manali
Easy Vegetable Biryani made in the Instant Pot! Basmati rice cooked with spices and vegetable makes this biryani one of my favorite one pot meals. Packed with so much flavor, this biryani is also gluten-free!
4.72 from 49 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2
Calories 566 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoon oil 22 ml
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion 170 grams, sliced
  • 1 green chili sliced, add more as per taste
  • 12 raw cashews broken
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 medium carrots 100 grams, sliced
  • 1 medium potato 185 grams, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup basmati rice 200 grams, soaked in 2 cups water for 20 minutes
  • 1.25 cups water 10 oz

Instructions
 

  • Wash and rinse the basmati rice until water turns clear. Then soak it in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. While the rice is soaking, chop all the veggies. Also soak the frozen green peas in warm water for 5-10 minutes. Once 20 minutes are up, drain the water from the rice and set it aside. Also drain the water from the green peas and set it aside.
  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil to the pot. To the hot oil, add bay leaf, green cardamom, whole cloves, black peppercorns and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  • Then add the sliced onions, along with green chili and cashews. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion turns light brown. The cashews will also turn little brown by now.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add 1 tablespoon water at this point and deglaze the pot. Scrape and remove all the burnt bits that may have been there due to sauteing the onions. Don't skip this step else the pot might not come to pressure. 
  • Then add the vegetables - potatoes, carrots, green peas. Also add the chopped cilantro, garam masala, smoked paprika and salt.
  • Add the drained rice to the pot and gently toss it all together with a spoon.
  • Add water to the pot. Do not stir anything at this point.
  • Close the pot with its lid and then press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Serve the biryani with a side of raita!

Notes

  1. Adjust spice levels to taste. Add cayenne pepper/red chili powder to make the biryani spicier.
  2. You may add fresh mint leaves to the biryani too in addition to cilantro. 
  3. You may use ghee in place of oil if not making it vegan.

Nutrition

Calories: 566kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 11gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1011mgPotassium: 512mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 10895IUVitamin C: 22.4mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 3.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani

102 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani

  1. Thank you for the wonderful recipes! I only have ground spices-can I use all ground instead of the whole spices and do you have suggestions for how much I should use? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try this one!

    1. hmmm biryani really needs whole spices, it’s what gives it flavor and makes it biryani. Still I would say at least don’t skip on the cumin seeds. Skip the bay leaf, add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder and probably pinch of ground cloves and pinch of black pepper. Add more as needed.

  2. 5 stars
    This is so good, and with such basic ingredients – the spicing is beautiful! I don’t have an Instant Pot, but it worked perfectly in my ordinary pressure cooker.
    This is going to be a staple in our household from now on.

  3. 5 stars
    This was awesome! I didn’t have any cashews, so subbed walnuts (the only nut I had) and crossed my fingers! It came out amazing! I will continue to use this fantastic recipe often! Hubby loved it, so two thumbs up!????

  4. 5 stars
    Manali,

    thank you so much for your recipes ! I made your instapot veg biryani yesterday for the second time, this time including drumsticks which I had left over from recently making sambar ( that also was your recipe and it turned out amazing!) Had some leftover biryani this morning for breakfast and it was so good I just had to write and thank you. My wife and I love your recipes which are now more important than ever since the restaurants have closed.
    many thanks !!

  5. Get rid of the ads. Distracting.

    How about a condensed version of the recipe. Like reading a novel. Get to the point.

    1. Unfortunately it’s difficult for me to do that. This is my full time job and the blog receives a lot of traffic (Millions monthly) because of which the running costs are high. The ads help pay for running the blog, testing recipes, pay my bills etc. There’s a jump to recipe button on top which you can click to go directly to the recipe and skip all text and ads. Hope this helps and thanks for understanding!

    1. yes you can either make it at home by grinding equal amount (by weight) ginger and garlic or buy one from store. Most Indian stores carry it!

  6. 5 stars
    I just made a lovely Indian feast for a dinner party & used your Instant Pot Veggie Biryani recipe as the centerpiece, using regular brown basmati rice. I followed the recipe, including rinsing & soaking the rice, & adjusted the cooking time based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, to 22 minutes (they say all rice is 1:1 with water, just cooked for different times, so that’s what I did), left it for the 5 minutes of natural release you recommend then released manually. The rice was a perfect al dente, which is how we like it, with all the water absorbed. If you like it softer, you could probably lengthen the cooking time a little or let the pressure drop on its own. The extra cooking time didn’t make the veggies mushy at all, which was what I had worried about. Oh, & that Mango Mint Raita was a major hit, too! Thanks for helping make gourmet food accessible for an every day cook!

  7. 5 stars
    I just follow your recipe step by step and it turns out amazing every single time! Love love love your recipes so much! I love how detailed your posts are and you have so many vegan options in your blog. ❤️

      1. Thanks for the reply! I ended up using the full proportions listed in my 3 qt pot. I guess I’m wondering since the rice expands if it is not supposed to go over a certain level of the instant pot? And If i should have halved the ingredients? The rice came out a little softer than I wanted but not sure if that was due to how full the pot was or because the rice needed to be drained more.

      2. I have made this recipe both in my 6qt and 3 qt and haven’t noticed a difference. You didn’t need to halve the ingredients…maybe use a colander to drain the rice completely.

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