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!
500gramsgreen jackfruitcanned, don't use ripe jackfruit, you need young green jackfruit
150gramsGreek yogurt1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons or use thick yogurt from which water has been drained for 3 to 4 hours
2teaspoonsginger garlic paste
1/2teaspoonKashmiri red chili powder
1/2green chilichopped or add more to taste
For the biryani
1 & 1/2cupsbasmati rice300 grams
1 & 1/2tablespoonoilI used avocado oil
1teaspoonshahi jeeraor use regular cumin seeds
5-6largegarlic clovesfinely chopped
1 & 1/2inchgingerfinely chopped
3/4teaspoonbiryani masalaor use garam masala
1/2 - 3/4teaspoonsaltto taste
1/4teaspoonkewra wateroptional, or rose water
roasted cashewsfor garnish
fried onionsfor garnish
saffron milkfor garnish, made by soaking few strands of saffron in 1 tablespoon warm milk for 5 minutes
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.
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.