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Instant Pot vegetable biryani is made by pressure cooking rice, and vegetables in a spicy onion-tomato gravy to create this flavorful one-pot vegetarian meal that comes together in under 30 minutes.
What is the difference between pulao and biryani?
There are many debates on how pulao and biryani are different, but the main differences would be the cooking technique and spices used.
- Technique – While making biryani, rice, and vegetables/meat are partially cooked separately, and then they are layered and cooked over a low flame to allow the flavors from the meat/vegetables to meld in. In the case of pulao, vegetables (and/or meat) are sauteed first, and then rice is added in along with water and then cooked together.
- Use of spice – Biryanis make elaborate use of spices, involves marinating the meat, and is definitely more flavorful, aromatic, and more of a gourmet meal than the humble pulao, which is typically light on spices and considered an everyday fare.
Isn’t this one-pot vegetarian rice recipe a pulao recipe?
Yes, it is. But no one needs to know. When you open the lid of the Instant Pot, the aroma from the biryani will fill up the room. One bite of this flavorful layered rice dish will convince any fastidious non-believers that it is indeed vegetable biryani.
Just don’t tell them that you have put it together in less than 30 minutes in an Instant Pot 🙂
How to make Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani?
If you haven’t used your Instant Pot yet, making veg biryani would be an ideal way for you to get started. It is an easy, fail-proof recipe and needs very little hands-on time. And the result is so flavorful just like how a biryani should taste.
It requires very little hands-on time and is perfect for busy mornings when you are juggling a million things. Make sure to chop the ingredients the previous day, and you’ll have this delicious-tasting veg biryani in no time. Pair it with raita for a complete meal.
If you love biryanis, check out my other versions, which are just as simple –
If you love rice as I do, here are some other rice recipes for you –
- Lemon rice – a simple tangy rice preparation made with limes.
- Curd rice (Dahi chawal recipe) – a soothing and delicious combination of yogurt and rice
- Chettinad chicken biryani – a specialty biryani from Chettinad.
- Shrimp biryani made super easy using Instant Pot.
- 20-minute Instant Pot Palak rice (spinach rice) – Learn how to make this flavorful spinach rice, packed with fresh vegetables and aromatic spices, in just 20 minutes with your Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani
- 2 cups Basmati rice soaked in water for 20-30 minutes
- ¼ cup olive oil or 3-4 tablespoons ghee clarified butter
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 6-8 whole black peppercorns
- 1 Indian bay leaves
- 1- inch piece cinnamon stick
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves crushed into a paste
- 1 cup chopped potatoes
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup green peas
- 2 teaspoon red chili powder
- salt as needed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons yogurt
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ghee clarified butter
- finely chopped cilantro / coriander leaves for garnishing
- Add oil to the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “Normal” and wait till the display reads “Hot.”
- Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and when they sizzle (after 10-15 seconds) add onions. Fry the onions till they turn soft and translucent (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add garlic and saute it with the onions for a minute or so. Add the veggies (potatoes, carrots, and peas) along with turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt and fry them for another 5 minutes or so and then add tomatoes.
- Saute the tomatoes till they are soft (approximately 5-8 minutes).
- Whisk the yogurt well with garam masala and add this mixture to the Instant Pot. Do a taste test – the salt should slightly be on the higher side.
- Drain the water from the soaked rice and add the rice on top of the veggies and add just enough water (approximately 1-1/4 cup) to completely submerge the rice.
- Press “Warm / Cancel” button and then select “Pressure Cook.” Adjust the time to 6 minutes and set the pressure selection at low. Cover the Instant Pot lid and lock it. Make sure the vent is at sealing position.
- Once the cooking cycle completes, the Instant Pot will switch to the Warm cycle. Press the Warm/Cancel button and carefully release pressure. Open the lid and let the steam escape.
- Add a tablespoon of ghee and wait for 5 minutes before fluffing the rice and mixing in the ghee. Garnish with coriander leaves and gently mix before serving.
- Serve hot with raita or yogurt
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.
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