You don’t have to spend time over a hot stove to enjoy this easy gluten-free chicken biryani. It’s bursting with real-food flavor – straight from your Instant Pot!
Ethnic cuisine lover.
Would it surprise you if I said that normal American food is not my favorite? Aside from biscuits & gravy, fried chicken, and anything from Louisiana, it’s all just kinda… blah. Of course that can have as much to do with the cook as anything, so I can’t complain too much incriminating myself. But seriously, if I had my choice as to which ethnic cuisine I could eat, American wouldn’t be it.
Name another cuisine, I probably love it. Middle Eastern food, Chinese food (real Chinese food, mind you, not American Chinese food), Thai food, African foods, most hispanic foods, German… chocolate, Irish food and Russian foods, too. And if you can’t tell by the title of this recipe, I love Indian food!
An Indian Favorite
When I was 4 months pregnant with my fourth child, my husband and two of our friends took off on a month-long trip to Chennai, India. To say I was jealous was an understatement. Not that I really wanted to be in all of India’s intense heat while pregnant… but the food! My husband, who is not the world’s most adventurous eater, was going to be getting all the good food while I only dreamed about it. Needless to say, when he returned home it took him months before he wanted to eat anything spicy or with rice in it again.
But I made curry anyway. ‘Cause I’m that kind of caring person.
Now that we’re years out from that experience, he’s much more open to retrying Indian food. So I’ve been gradually trying to add recipes into our meal plan. Idli here, curry there, and a little lassi too. And my very favorite and not-so authentic buttered chai hot chocolate. When I saw a chicken biryani recipe in an Indian Instant Pot cookbook I jumped at the chance to try something new!
I nonchalantly asked my hubby if he remembered having chicken biryani in India he replied, “Mm… yeah, I think I remember liking that one.” I knew I was safe, then. After a few tweaks and ingredient subs to make it safe for me to eat, I served up my chicken biryani. It was a hit!
Easy Gluten-Free Chicken Biryani
Herbs. The herbs and spices really make this dish! Even if you might think the combinations sound a little strange, trust me – they work! Well, trust an Indian, I guess. This gluten-free chicken biryani recipe uses cilantro and mint, a combo I never would’ve thought of on my own. You can totally use dried herbs for this recipe, but fresh is best. I didn’t have enough fresh mint on hand, so I just used dried. It still tastes delicious!
Spices. Like every good savory dish, this chicken biryani has the obligatory garlic and onion. You can chop up fresh for this, or used powdered. I have some super picky children who decided they wouldn’t eat actual onions, so I usually use onion powder. Absolutely no complaining with that!
Ginger is also a staple in a lot of Indian food, and of course fresh is best again. But in a pinch (or if you have kids who refuse to eat little pieces of ginger) you can use powdered. I love Azure Standard’s powdered ginger.
And last, but not least, garam masala. If you’ve never used it before, prepare to fall in love. It smells DIVINE. My oldest (fellow ethnic cuisine-loving foodie) and I seriously just stood there smelling the spice mix for a while after I opened it. Peppercorns, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom… You really can’t go wrong with that mix. There are a lot of options out there for garam masala spices, but if you find one with those five ingredients in it, that’s the one you want for this gluten-free chicken biryani. Azure sells a dried garam masala mix you can grind yourself for the best flavor, but I usually just use a pre-ground one.
Chicken. You can really use whatever kind of chicken you want in this recipe. Boneless skinless is always the easiest, but I find chicken thighs are the most flavorful in chicken dishes. And please use organic if you can afford it!
Rice. I use basmati rice for this chicken biryani. You could probably use jasmine if you want. I just really love the flavor of basmati much more, and I think it compliments the savory flavors of this dish perfectly! Plus I do think basmati is a little more authentic to this recipe.
More Instant Pot favorites.
If you need more delicious recipes to make in the Instant Pot (who doesn’t?), here are some of my family’s favorites….
- Instant Pot fried rice or quinoa
- Cheesy veggie lentil stew
- Cheese-stuffed meatballs
- Paleo zuppa toscana
- White chicken chili
- Beef & kale soup
- Eye of round roast
- Garlic mashed potatoes
- Honey orange pumpkin pie (yes! pie in the IP!)
- Yogurt in the Instant Pot
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Easy Chicken Biryani in the Instant Pot
Free from gluten, eggs, dairy, and sugar.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or 1 diced yellow onion)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (or an inch of finely shopped fresh ginger)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or a few cloves, minced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon chopped mint (I use dried, but you can use fresh)
- 2 pounds organic chicken thighs
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- sea salt, to taste
Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and heat the coconut oil.
When hot, add the onions and sauté until golden-brown.
Add in peppers and cook until tender.
Add in the chicken and all the spices and herbs.
Stir to mix well, then add the rice on top.
Cover everything with water.
Put on the lid and seal the vent.
Push ‘manual’ and set the time to 5 minutes.
When it’s done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then vent the Instant Pot.
Remove the lid and mix gently before serving.
I use the Instant Pot Duo 6 quart 7-in-1.
Recipe adapted from Indian Instant Pot Cooking: Traditional Indian Dish Made Easy & Fast, by .