Instant Pot Jackfruit Biryani (Kathal Biryani)

This Jackfruit Biryani is a vegetarian biryani made with basmati rice, unripe green jackfruit and a whole bunch of aromatic and fragrant spices. Topped with cashews, fried onions, this will be a showstopper vegetarian centerpiece at any dinner!
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This jackfruit biryani aka kathal biryani is made with jackfruit, basmati rice and flavored with whole spices like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and peppercorn. Topped with crispy onion, saffron milk and fried cashews, this vegetarian delight will make showstopper of a meal at any table!

jackfruit biryani served in a black bowl garnished with mint leaves and fried onions

I don’t cook with jackfruit very often but when I do, I almost always end up making my mom’s kathal and chana dal kebabs. Those melt-in-mouth kebabs are probably my favorite way to enjoy jackfruit and they also have a special place in my heart since they were my mom’s specialty. There’s another way I enjoy jackfruit and that is this jackfruit biryani.

Biryani is one of my favorite dishes to cook. Basmati rice, those fragrant spices always come together beautifully and it’s hard to go wrong with them.

About This Recipe

This jackfruit biryani is a rice dish made with basmati rice, jackfruit and spices. There are a whole bunch of spices that are used to make this biryani very fragrant and aromatic.

I have made this recipe in the Instant Pot but you can definitely make it on the stove-top as well. The recipe starts with marinating the jackfruit pieces with yogurt and spices. Then the jackfruit is cooked a little bit in some ghee on a pan before mixing it with rice, whole spices and then pressure cooked.

This is a vegetarian biryani but you can also easily make it vegan by some simple swaps (see notes on that below).

Ingredients For Jackfruit Biryani

ingredients to make jackfruit biryani arranged on a board

Basmati rice: as is the case with biryani always, we use basmati rice. Use extra long grain basmati rice for best results.

Jackfruit/Kathal: the most important thing that I would like to mention here is that you must use green unripe raw jackfruit. Do not use the sweet ripe jackfruit, that does not work in biryani. You can use either canned or fresh jackfruit. I often use canned since it is more readily available here and also needs no prep work and hence easier to use.

Spices: a bunch of whole spices like cloves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon etc. and ground spices like Kashmiri red chili powder, biryani masala are added to flavor the biryani.

Flavorings: other than the spices, the biryani is also flavored with fresh herbs like mint, kewra water and saffron.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Start by soaking 1 & 1/2 cup (300 grams) basmati rice for 30 minutes.

2- Meanwhile work on the marinade for the jackfruit. I have used canned green jackfruit here. The pieces were quite big so I cut each into half to make them more bite size.

3- Take a large bowl and to that add the following:

  • 150 grams Greek yogurt (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1/2 green chili, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

4- Using a whisk mix everything until well combined.

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit biryani in instant pot

5- Add the jackfruit pieces to the bowl and mix using your hands or a spatula until all the pieces are well coated with the marinade. Cover and place this in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

6- After the rice has soaked for 30 minutes, drain it using a colander. Set this aisde.

7- Back to the jackfruit, take it out of the refrigerator after 20 to 30 minutes have passed (this should be done parallelly with soaking the rice). Now heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the marinated jackfruit into the pan.

8- Cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat, stirring often until the jackfruit pieces are little cooked and the moisture from the marinade dries out a bit. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

You can also do this step in the Instant Pot on sauté mode. I just used a separate pan. If you do this on instant pot, take the jackfruit out after cooking for 5 minutes and clean the pot before using it for the next parts of the recipe.

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit biryani in instant pot

9- Press the sauté button on the instant pot, once it displays hot, add 1 & 1/2 tablespoon oil to it. Then add the following whole spices:

  • 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise
  • 4 to 5 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon shahi jeera (black cumin seeds)

Sauté for 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant and cumin seeds sizzle.

10- Add 5 to 6 chopped garlic, 1& 1/2 inch chopped ginger and 1 chopped green chili. Cook for 30 seconds. And then add the jackfruit that we had pan cooked earlier. Toss it all together and cook 60 seconds.

11- Add the drained rice and gently toss it together with the spices and jackfruit.

12- Now, add 1 cup water and using a wooden spatula scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits which would have stuck to the pot after sautéing the ginger-garlic and jackfruit. You may press cancel on your Instant Pot at this point so that the pot doesn’t heat up much while you are doing this.

So, take few seconds to de-glaze the pot, this step is important so that there’s nothing stuck at the bottom which might prevent the Instant Pot from coming to pressure.

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit biryani in instant pot

13- Now add the remaining 1 cup of water along with the following:

  • 3/4 teaspoon biryani masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon kewra water (or rose water)

14- Now using a spatula, press the rice gently so that it’s all under water.

15- Close the lid and press the pressure cook/manual button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 to 15 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. I did a quick release after 10 minutes.

16- Open the lid and remove it. Then remove the inner steel pot from the Instant Pot and transfer it somewhere else. Cover with a plate and let it remain like that for 5 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork. Serve with garnishes (read below).

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit biryani in instant pot

How To Serve

Garnishes impart more flavor and texture to the biryani. I like garnishing this jackfruit biryani with these 3 things before serving:

  • Saffron Milk: heat 1 tablespoon milk in a pan or bowl (using a microwave) and then add pinch of saffron strands to it. Let sit for 5 minutes so that the color of the saffron really pops out. Pour the saffron milk over the biryani before serving.
  • Fried/Roasted Cashews: you can either fry cashews or roast them in oven or in the air fryer. If you don’t have cashews you can also use almonds. Sometimes, I also add some fried raisins along with the cashews.
  • Crispy Onions: these crispy onions are often a part of biryani. You can find crispy fried onions in the market or make some at home. They add a nice texture and crunch to the biryani when you put them on top before serving.

Biryani Accompaniments

This Jackfruit biryani is best served with raita like boondi raita, cucumber raita or spinach raita. You can also serve it with plain unsweetened yogurt.

Serving veg kurma on the side with biryani will also be a good choice and so will be mirchi ka salan.

Stove-top Method

If you are going to make this on stove-top, then first soak the rice for 30 minutes and then cook it in a pot of water with 2 to 3 cardamom, 3 to 4 cloves and little salt until it’s 75% cook. Don’t cook it completely. Refer to this vegetable biryani recipe for this step. Once done, drain the rice using a colander. Marinade the jackfruit as mentioned in the recipe.

Heat oil or ghee in a pot on medium heat, then add the whole spices, let them sizzle, add ginger-garlic-chili and cook 30 to 60 seconds. Add in the marinated jackfruit along with salt and biryani masala and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Canned jackfruit would need less time however if using fresh jackfruit you would need to cook longer.

Then take another heavy bottom pan and layer the biryani. Grease the bottom of the pot with ghee. Add a layer of rice, top with fried cashews, onions, chopped mint and all of the cooked jackfruit. Then add the remaining rice on top and garnish with more cashews, mint and fried onion. Add the kewra water on top. Also add the prepared saffron milk on top.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Then cover with a fitted lid. Heat a flat pan on medium heat. Once hot, reduce the flame to lowest. Place your biryani pot on top of the pan and let it cook for 25 to 30 minutes on lowest heat (dum).

jackfruit biryani served on a plate with a bowl of raita

Vegan Option

You can make this jackfruit biryani recipe vegan by using vegan yogurt in place of regular yogurt for the marinade. I recommend using plain almond milk yogurt. Also use oil in place of ghee for cooking the jackfruit and non-dairy milk when making the saffron milk. The recipe will remain same otherwise.

Tips & Notes

  • Using fresh jackfruit: you can definitely make this biryani with fresh jackfruit. Don’t use the sweet, ripe jackfruit for this recipe, you need green jackfruit for the biryani.
  • Make it nut-free: adding cashews on top adds to texture of the biryani and I love biting into crunchy cashews while eating the biryani. You can skip the nuts to make it nut-free.
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes this kathal biryani recipe is gluten-free.
  • Greek yogurt substitute: if you can’t find Greek yogurt, simply use regular whole milk yogurt, let it strain in a colander for 3 to 4 hours until it doesn’t have excess moisture and is nice and thick and then use it in the recipe.
  • Biryani masala substitute: biryani powder is a special mix of spices that’s used to flavor biryani. You can use any brand of biryani masala you like. However in case you don’t have it, just use garam masala in place.
  • Spice it up: this biryani is not mildly spiced, to make it spicier, add red chili powder in the recipe, you can also add more green chilies.

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Instant Pot Jackfruit Biryani

jackfruit biryani served in a black bowl garnished with mint leaves and fried onions
Manali
This Jackfruit Biryani is a vegetarian biryani made with basmati rice, unripe green jackfruit and a whole bunch of aromatic and fragrant spices. Topped with cashews, fried onions, this will be a showstopper vegetarian centerpiece at any dinner!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 401 kcal

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 500 grams green jackfruit canned, don't use ripe jackfruit, you need young green jackfruit
  • 150 grams Greek yogurt 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons or use thick yogurt from which water has been drained for 3 to 4 hours
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint mint
  • 1/2 green chili chopped or add more to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the biryani

  • 1 & 1/2 cups basmati rice 300 grams
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon oil I used avocado oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 4-5 whole green cardamon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon shahi jeera or use regular cumin seeds
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2 cups water 16 oz
  • 3/4 teaspoon biryani masala or use garam masala
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon kewra water optional, or rose water
  • roasted cashews for garnish
  • fried onions for garnish
  • saffron milk for garnish, made by soaking few strands of saffron in 1 tablespoon warm milk for 5 minutes

Instructions
 

  • Start by soaking 1 & 1/2 cup (300 grams) basmati rice for 30 minutes. Meanwhile work on the marinade for the jackfruit. I have used canned green jackfruit here. The pieces were quite big so I cut each into half to make them more bite size.
  • Take a large bowl and to that add the following: Greek yogurt, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, garam masala, Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and mint, chopped green chili, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
    Using a whisk mix everything until well combined.
  • Add the jackfruit pieces to the bowl and mix using your hands or a spatula until all the pieces are well coated with the marinade. Cover and place this in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
    After the rice has soaked for 30 minutes, drain it using a colander. Set this aisde.
  • Back to the jackfruit, take it out of the refrigerator after 20 to 30 minutes have passed (this should be done parallelly with soaking the rice). Now heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the marinated jackfruit into the pan.
    Cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat, stirring often until the jackfruit pieces are little cooked and the moisture from the marinade dries out a bit. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
    You can also do this step in the Instant Pot on sauté mode. I just used a separate pan. If you do this on instant pot, take the jackfruit out after cooking for 5 minutes and clean the pot before using it for the next parts of the recipe.
  • Press the sauté button on the instant pot, once it displays hot, add 1 & 1/2 tablespoon oil to it. Then add the following whole spices: bay leaf, star anise, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns and shahi jeera (black cumin seeds).
  • Add chopped garlic, ginger and green chili. Cook for 30 seconds. And then add the jackfruit that we had pan cooked earlier. Toss it all together and cook 60 seconds.
  • Add the drained rice and gently toss it together with the spices and jackfruit.
    Now, add 1 cup water and using a wooden spatula scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits which would have stuck to the pot after sautéing the ginger-garlic and jackfruit. You may press cancel on your Instant Pot at this point so that the pot doesn't heat up much while you are doing this.
    So, take few seconds to de-glaze the pot, this step is important so that there's nothing stuck at the bottom which might prevent the Instant Pot from coming to pressure.
  • Now add the remaining 1 cup of water along with biryani masala, 1/2 teaspoon salt, chopped mint and kewra water (or rose water). Now using a spatula, press the rice gently so that it's all under water.
  • Close the lid and press the pressure cook/manual button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 to 15 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. I did a quick release after 10 minutes.
  • Open the lid and remove it. Then remove the inner steel pot from the Instant Pot and transfer it somewhere else. Cover with a plate and let it remain like that for 5 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork. Top with fried/roasted cashews, more chopped mint, crispy onions and saffron milk and serve with a side of raita.

Notes

  • Using fresh jackfruit: you can definitely make this biryani with fresh jackfruit. Don’t use the sweet, ripe jackfruit for this recipe, you need green jackfruit for the biryani.
  • Make it nut-free: adding cashews on top adds to texture of the biryani and I love biting into crunchy cashews while eating the biryani. You can skip the nuts to make it nut-free.
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes this kathal biryani recipe is gluten-free.
  • Greek yogurt substitute: if you can’t find Greek yogurt, simply use regular whole milk yogurt, let it strain in a colander for 3 to 4 hours until it doesn’t have excess moisture and is nice and thick and then use it in the recipe.
  • Biryani masala substitute: biryani powder is a special mix of spices that’s used to flavor biryani. You can use any brand of biryani masala you like. However in case you don’t have it, just use garam masala in place.
  • Spice it up: this biryani is not mildly spiced, to make it spicier, add red chili powder in the recipe, you can also add more green chilies.

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 897mgPotassium: 283mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 169IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

2 thoughts on “Instant Pot Jackfruit Biryani (Kathal Biryani)

  1. 5 stars
    Wow just did this fabulous recipe.
    It was so tasty and your instructions with stage by stage pictures made it so easy to follow. I used my instapot and added extra vegetables. It will be a regular one in our house now.
    I had no rose water. It was so tasty. thank you. Following for more.

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