We are well into the Islamic Month of Ramadan, a holy month where Muslims around the world fast for a full month. From pre-dawn to sunset, no food or drink is consumed and we take the time to reflect, to pray, to help those in need and to show gratitude for what we have. Personally, this Ramadan means more to me then ever before.
Each family, each culture have their own unique dishes that form part of Ramadan. From Suhoor (the meal before dawn), to Iftaar (the breaking of the fast) each home has their own special traditions. Over the next week, I’ll be showing you three easy Instant Pot dishes to create, that we feature during this month. Typically we look more towards foods that hydrate and don’t take long to make, such as soups. You will always find some on our table. I’ve featured some of our favourites like Chicken and Vegetable and butternut before, and will certainly be sharing two more favourites over the next week. Cooking soups in the Instant Pot is a breeze!
For now, let’s focus on the Pulao/Pilaf. Not quite a Biryani, but a close enough “cousin”. This is a super quick and easy mid week meal, and I have made mine with de-boned chicken thighs to make it even easier! This Instant Pot Chicken Pulao recipe requires just 15 minutes of prep work and results in flavourful chicken and wonderfully soft rice.
I have yet to master my mum in law’s Pilaf, every time I try to make it my husband says its not the right way, so I adapted my own and call it something different 🙂 The kids ate two big servings of this, so to me, that’s a winner!
A few tips:
- Don’t forget to remove all whole spices before serving!
- Your cook time may vary depending on the quality of rice you use.
- Use a small size salad tomato to prevent any “soggyness”.
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao
- Instant Pot
- 1.5 cups Basmati Rice
- 500 grams boneless chicken thighs or fillets
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Cardamom pods bruised
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed ginger
- 1-2 tomatoes chopped
- 1-2 green chillies (whole or sliced)
- 1 3/4 cups water
- small pinch of saffron dissolved in a little water
- handful of coriander leaves
- oil/ghee to fry
- Wash the rice and soak it in water for about 15 minutes. Then drain.
- Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil, ghee, and onion. Sauté, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown. Deglaze the pan with a little water. You want your onions nice and golden because it will colour your rice.
- Add the spices, garlic, and ginger and sauté for another minute until fragrant. Add the chicken and ¼ tsp of salt and fry until the chicken changes colour. Add the tomato and chili and sauté until the tomato softens.
- Add in the rice, salt, and water and stir to combine. Scrape the sides of the pot and make sure all the rice is submerged in water.
- Switch of saute setting and secure the lid, set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Pressure-cook on high setting for 6 minutes with a natural release of 15 minutes. Then manually release any remaining pressure by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Fluff up with a fork.
- Sprinkle the cilantro/mint over the top and serve with raita made of yoghurt, coriander, chilli.