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Instant Pot Chicken Pulao

A quick and easy mid week meal that is packed full of flavour. This Instant Pot Chicken Pulao recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and results in flavourful chicken and perfectly cooked rice.
Cook Time21 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken and Rice, Chicken Pilaf, Chicken Pulao, Instant Pot Chicken Pilaf, Ramadan Meals
Servings: 4


  • 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.