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For those new to Indian cuisine, this Instant Pot Indian Chicken Pulao makes a great dish with chicken and aromatic spices, very similar to well-known rice pilaf.

It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare this absolutely delicious one-pot Indian dish. For more recipes, try Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook, which is full of many great Indian dishes, including chicken biryani, all prepared for the Instant Pot. This Indian Chicken Pulao is a recipe with well-known and available ingredients, easily to find everywhere.
I have been making this several times now, and I always adjust recipe to my taste, with less ghee and chili peppers. It can be easily adapted, as you can use whatever spices you like, to make it spicier or mild, but don’t forget to squeeze the lemon at the end and add the cilantro as it really adds up to the taste.
The portions are very big, so it can be made for 5 servings.

PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOK TIME: 25 mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 mins


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces and patted dry
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 tablespoon ghee, or butter or even oil to make dairy free
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 hot green chiles, sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2- inch cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Lemon wedges for serving


  • Rinse the rice under the running water for 10 seconds. Repeat one more time, swishing it around, and then drain and put aside.
  • Mix lemon juice, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt and garlic in the bowl. Add the chicken and coat it well with the mixture. Put aside, or if you are preparing day before, cover the bowl and put in the fridge for up 12 hours.
  • Heat the ghee in the Instant Pot on a high Sauté setting.
  • Add the cardamom, bay leaves, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and sauté for about 30 seconds, until the spices let out their aroma.
  • Then add the onion, and cook until it gets its brownish colour and soft texture, for about 5 minutes. Stir the mixture from time to time.
  • If you want to speed up the process of cooking, cover the pot with a glass lid.
  • Add the chicken with its marinade previously made into the pot, and also add the chiles and remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir everything until chicken is fully covered with spices.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Next step is adding the rice and water to the pot. Make sure that most of the rice is under the water.
  • Set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes on high pressure.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot, and sprinkle some cilantro over the dish, while gently fluffing rice with a fork.
  • Serve rice into individual plates using the rice paddle and decorate with the lemon wedges on the side.


Serving: 11/2 cups
Calories: 265kcal, Carbohydrates: 17.5g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 513.5mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1.5g

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