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!
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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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani
- 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
- 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!
- Adjust spice levels to taste. Add cayenne pepper/red chili powder to make the biryani spicier.
- You may add fresh mint leaves to the biryani too in addition to cilantro.
- You may use ghee in place of oil if not making it vegan.
Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani
112 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani”
I want to mix the rice and spices. Will the water and cooking time be the same or vary?
will be same but everything eventually gets mixed anyway so there will be no change to taste whether you stir first or later. I only ask to not stir at this point to prevent the burn message warning on IP.
Hello Manali. I have a question. I only use brown rice. How can I make this recipe incorporating brown rice.
yes but brown rice take 22-24 mins to cook and the veggies would all turn to mush in that time. I recommend making this: https://www.cookwithmanali.com/instant-pot-brown-rice-chana-pulao/
Can this be doubled without any problem? Anything that should be changed?
yes can be doubled! pressure cooking time remains same 🙂
Can chicken thighs be used in this recipe?
maybe, I am a vegetarian and have never cooked chicken so not the best person to answer this
Oops. Sorry and hope I didn’t offend
no worries at all!
I have made this twice, and it has been delicious each time. Thank you!
glad to know!
We tried to make this in a Cosori, and tried following the recipe closely, but had some problems. Following the 5 min on high and waiting 5 min before releasing the pressure overcooked it. The rice and food at the bottom of the pan burnt. The rice still looked white and not the lovely color of the example photos.
It was edible, except for those moments where you bite into a whole cardamom pod or peppercorn or other spice. Were we actually supposed to keep those in after sautéing in the oil? Or were the spices supposed to break down a bit at the end so that they don’t end up as big peices you’ll bite into later?
It was okay, but we will need to modify for our Cosori
Hi Jessica, since I don’t have a cosori I cannot comment on how this works in that. For 8 qt IP, I recommend adding little extra water (as newer models are sensitive to burn message) but I have no experience with Cosori. In Indian cooking, we often use whole spices as such. They are there and you just pick them up before serving or place them on the side. If you don’t like that, tie whole spices in a muslin cloth and use that in the recipe.
I have made this delicious biryani countless times in the past year but recently I purchased your instant pot cookbook. This morning I made your cookbook version for the third time in two weeks and I have to say it is exquisite !!
thank you so much,
glad to know David!