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Instant Pot Paneer Biryani

5 from 5 votes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 4 SERVINGS

This hearty and healthy Instant Pot Paneer Biryani tastes superbly divine, and the best part is that it takes just 30 minutes to come together. Completely vegetarian and uniquely flavorful, this authentic Paneer biryani recipe is ideal for busy days or laid-back weekends.

Plan this for your weekday lunch, Sunday brunch, or even your next weekend party and serve it with raita to your family and guests, and it will be an instant hit.

Instant Pot Paneer Biryani in white bowl

Authentic Indian recipes are loved for their rich taste and exquisite flavors, and this has made them famous around the world. The right mix of spices, exquisite blends of flavor, and diverse textures make them a preferred choice of food experts.

Among the traditional dishes, biryanis hold a special place.

This recipe of Paneer Dum Biryani is an incredibly mouthwatering rice dish cooked in an Instant Pot, along with assorted veggies and exotic spices for their intriguing flavors and entrancing aroma!

Veggies add color and nutrition to this dish, while basmati rice adds structure and flavor.

Spices bring out the real essence of this traditional recipe which is cooked in an Instant pot or over a stovetop.

Instant Pot Paneer Biryani

Traditionally, biryanis are made by layering parboiled rice with other ingredients like veggies, meat, fried onions (barista), saffron, and spices, and slow-cooked using the dum method to reach the ultimate flavors.

This Pressure cooker Paneer Biryani recipe is also prepared with long grain Basmati rice, layered with a myriad of vegetables, and flavored with whole spices that make this dish magically delicious!

The succulent pieces of paneer add protein and taste to the biryani. The difference in preparing this recipe is that it is cooked in an Instant pot, unlike the dum method over a cooktop (although you can cook this recipe over a cooktop as well).

This Dum Paneer Biryani recipe is subtly flavored and mildly spiced and carries a variety of textures imparted by the veggies, paneer, and other ingredients.

Reasons You’ll ♡ Instant Pot Paneer Biryani

This Paneer Biryani recipe is a sheer indulgence; a simple one-pot meal that comes together in less than an hour! Here is why you would love every morsel of this gorgeous recipe —

  • Straightforward and the quickest recipe
  • Flavor-packed, nutritious, and wholesome
  • Authentically flavored and aromatic
  • Gluten-free and vegetarian
  • Can be turned vegan
  • An appetizing family favorite!

The best part is that you can pack paneer biryani in the lunch box and treat your kids to a nutritious and healthful meal.

Instant Pot Paneer Biryani Ingredient List

Basmati rice — I prefer using long grain Basmati rice for preparing pulao and biryanis. They are ideal for biryanis as they hold their structure while cooking and mesmerize with their lovely aroma, which is so exquisite!

Paneer — This is the star ingredient of this beautiful recipe of Paneer Biryani. You can use homemade paneer or the store-bought one. If you want it vegan, you can swap paneer with tofu.

Onion and garlic — The aromatic squad that renders delicious flavors to the recipe. You can skip adding the garlic if you want.

Vegetables — A medley of colorful vegetables can be added to the Paneer Dum Biryani for increased nutrition and flavor. I have used diced bell peppers and green beans in this recipe. Cauliflower, mushrooms, corn, beans, and carrots are some of the prevalent choices. However, you can use any other veggies of your choice.

Whole Spices — Whole spices bring verve to the recipe and take it to an entirely different level. So, do not skip adding them. I have used cloves, bay leaves, and green cardamoms in this mouth-watering Paneer Biryani recipe.

Water — Water or vegetable stock is added for cooking the biryani.

Ghee Homemade ghee is best for this recipe as it adds a nutty flavor and an enticing aroma to Paneer Biryani. However, you can replace ghee with any neutral flavored oil.

Instant Pot Paneer Biryani with mint leaves

Recipe Tips and variations

To pump up the flavor — Biryanis are a very versatile kind of dish and can be customized according to one’s preference. I have kept this biryani recipe simple with fewer spices. But if you prefer a spicier dish, feel free to add biryani masala bought from the store. It will lend the biryani some extra spiciness and deep flavors.

Best rice — It is the rice that makes or breaks this dish. Basmati rice makes the best biryanis and is chosen over other rice varieties! Therefore, please use Basmati rice for this recipe for its distinct flavor and texture.

Rinsing makes a difference — Remember to rinse the rice properly to get fluffier grains when prepping for this delicious recipe. Rinsing will remove the starch sticking to the surface of the grains and prevent the rice from sticking together when cooked.

Soaking the rice is essential — Soaking the Long grain Basmati rice for 10 minutes before cooking ensures that the grains cook through along with other ingredients without getting overcooked and mushy. So, please do not skip this vital step.

Adding paneer — Paneer is the star ingredient of this delicious recipe. I have added raw paneer to the dish, but if you prefer, you can air-fry or shallow fry the paneer and add it to the Instant Pot Paneer biryani for a varied texture.

Amplify the nutrition and flavor — This recipe can be modified and amped up for more nutrition and flavor. Adding more veggies like carrots, baby spinach, potatoes or beans renders a nutritional boost while making it irresistible.

Turning it Vegan — Substituting paneer with tofu and ghee with oil turns this dish into a vegan one without compromising on the flavor and delectability!

An imperial touch — Fried cashews and raisins added to the recipe before serving will render a shahi touch to this delicious Paneer Biryani recipe.

For softer store-bought paneer — Soft homemade paneer is the best option for this recipe, but if you use the store-bought ones, you may have chewy paneer. To avoid the store-bought paneer becoming chewy, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes before using it. This results in softer and creamier paneer.

Avoid overcooking completely — Overcooked rice means mushy Biryani; indeed, we do not want that. So, to prepare the best biryani, follow the instructions carefully and cook the rice accordingly.

Scalable recipe — This Paneer Dum Biryani recipe can be doubled or tripled to suit your preferences. Please follow the guide provided on the recipe card.

Deglazing — Deglaze the instant pot insert as you cook your delicious recipe. Deglazing is necessary as it removes all the browning from the sautéing of the vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pot. If not deglazed, your instant pot will give a BURN message.

For more flavorful paneer chunks — Marinating the paneer chunks will make them more flavorful and succulent, turning the Biryani more appetizing and superbly delicious.

For the spicier version — Do you like your biryani spicier? Throw in some green chilies and enjoy the heat! However, follow this recipe completely if you want to keep it subtle.

For the perfectly cooked rice — Don’t release the pressure right away. Wait for 4 minutes and then do a QPR (quick pressure release). During this time, the rice will absorb the extra liquid and come out ideally every time. But again, this wait time applies to long grain basmati rice only.

A make-ahead recipe — This recipe, Instant Pot Paneer Biryani, can be prepared in advance and stored for later use. It stores well for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Serve Instant Pot Paneer Biryani with lemon wedge

Let me know what you think!

Are you bored of plain rice and want to try something stunningly delicious? Relax! Here comes the rice recipe that your taste buds have been craving!

Uncomplicated, effortless, and simply marvelous! Yes, this recipe should be tried…. now! Quickly get your ingredients; they are all lying in your pantry, and let us begin our culinary spree!

Should you make this Instant Pot Paneer Biryani recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below.

And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.

Craving for more, try my other flavor-packed rice recipes – 

Follow the step-by-step instructions to make the best Instant Pot Paneer Biryani

Instant Pot Paneer Biryani

5 from 5 votes
This hearty and healthy Instant Pot Paneer Biryani tastes superbly divine, and the best part is that it takes just 30 minutes to come together. Completely vegetarian and uniquely flavorful, this authentic Paneer biryani recipe is ideal for busy days or laid-back weekends.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Calories: 671 kcal
Servings: 4 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS 

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 large Onion sliced

BIRYANI INGREDIENTS

GARNISHES

  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Mint Leaves
  • Lemon Wedge

INSTRUCTIONS

PREP WORK

  • Measure and transfer the rice to a mesh strainer. Rinse rice under tap water. Gently rub the grains against each other to remove the dirt and impurities. Rub the grains gently; rice can break if rubbed too harshly.
    Rinse rice
  • Repeat the process until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed rice to the bowl. Pour in water. Make sure the rice grains are submerged in water. Allow the rice to rest for 10 minutes. 
    Soak rice

CARAMELIZE ONIONS

  • Turn Instant pot to ‘Saute mode’ and allow it to heat. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee. Add in sliced onions.
  • Sauté the onions for 6-8 minutes until they turn brown and somewhat soft. 
  • Remove and set aside. 

PREPARE BIRYANI MASALA

  • Add ghee to the Instant pot insert. Add in bay leaves, cloves, green cardamom, and cumin seeds. Allow the spices to sizzle in the ghee for 30 seconds.
    Add whole spices
  • Add in chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.
  • Add in diced tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix to combine.
  • Stir in the spices – red chili powder, coriander powder, fennel seeds powder, garam masala powder, and salt. Mix until the spices are thoroughly combined. Add a tablespoon of water to deglaze the Instant Pot insert. 
  • Stir in diced vegetables – green beans, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper. Mix to combine. 
  • Add in paneer cubes.
    Mix everything together until all the ingredients are well combined – coating all the veggies in the tomato sauce. 
    To prevent the BURN message- scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the insert. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.

START LAYERING

  • Drain and rinse the rice again. Add the soaked rice to the vegetable and paneer mixture. Spread the rice on top. 
  •  Pour the saffron mix on rice. 
  • Crush kasoori methi in between your palms and sprinkle on top of rice. Sprinkle the caramelized onions on top. 
  • Pour in water. Mix gently to combine. Make sure the rice is under the water. 
  • Place the lid on the Instant pot. Seal, secure, and set to cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the rice rest for 4 minutes in its own steam and release the pressure (QPR – quick pressure release). When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. 
    Gently, fluff the rice with a spoon. 
  • That’s it! You have a perfect Instant Pot Paneer and vegetable biryani in less than 40 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

VIDEO

RECIPE NOTES

 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Can I store this Paneer Biryani?
Yes, absolutely you can. When completely cooled, transfer this delicious Paneer Biryani to an air-tight container and store it in a refrigerator. When required to serve, reheat it in the microwave and serve it hot.
To reheat –
Transfer the Paneer Biryani to a microwavable dish and sprinkle some water all over. Also, add ½ teaspoon of oil and slide it into the microwave. Heat the biryani until warmed through. Garnish it with fried cashews and raisins, and serve!
 
Can I use frozen veggies for this recipe?
Frozen veggies tend to lose their texture soon and turn mushy, so I will not recommend you to use them for this recipe. Please use fresh veggies for the best results when preparing this delicious recipe.
 
Can I skip using garlic?
Although garlic lends a ton of unique flavor to the recipe, skipping it will not harm it. So, if you do not prefer adding it to your Paneer Biryani, please omit it.
 
Is the cooking time for all the rice the same?
No, this is not true. The cooking time and water ratio vary depending on the type of rice. For example, basmati rice and brown rice have different cooking times.
 
Why does my rice turn out mushy?
Extra water in the rice makes the rice mushy. To avoid your rice getting sticky and mushy, follow the water-rice ratio mentioned in the recipe instructions.
Also, avoid fluffing the rice immediately after uncovering it. You must wait 4 – 5 minutes to allow the excess moisture to evaporate, then fluff them with a fork.
 
Why do I get a BURN message on my Instant Pot?
When sautéing the onions and veggies, the bits and pieces may get stuck at the bottom of the insert pan, triggering the BURN message. The solution to avoid this is to deglaze the pan by adding a few drops of water when you finish sautéing.
 
What do I serve along with Paneer biryani?
This savory delicacy is a complete meal in itself. However, you can pair it with homemade raita and green chutney to add more flavor and make your meal a delicious indulgence!
 
Can I cook Paneer Biryani over the stovetop?
Cooking time will vary in the stovetop method. The changes you are going to make- 
  • You are going to use par-boiled rice in the stovetop method.
  • Meaning – cook the rice until they are half cooked. To check that – take a few grains in your hands and try to crush in between fingers- if you have to apply a little pressure, that’s the perfect half-cooked grain. Drain the rice and set it aside. 
  • Double the quantity of water. The ratio of rice to water in the stovetop method is 1:2. Which means you will add 4 cups of water to 2 cups of rice. 
  • The rest of the recipe remains the same up until step 20. 
  • In the stovetop method, cook biryani for 10-12 minutes or until the rice is soft and tender. 
 

NUTRITION

Calories: 671kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 622mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1185IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 340mg | Iron: 2mg
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian

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Comments

  1. Sonal says:

    5 stars
    Love it 😍

  2. Arif Siddiqui says:

    5 stars
    Hi Ruchi your recipe I will try soon after Ramadan, in the mean time I want give us some items for break fast for muslims

  3. Neha says:

    5 stars
    I tried this last night. It was a big hit. Thanks for all the detailed instructions. It was great. Thanks again I’m sure I’ll make this biryani again!!