Instant Pot chicken pulao step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Chicken pulao is a quick and easy one-pot meal that is ready in 20 minutes. This Indian-style chicken and rice casserole is gluten-free, delicious, and perfect for weeknight dinners. With perfectly cooked rice, tender chicken, and subtle flavors from the whole spices, this dish will please the entire family.
This Instant Pot chicken pulao can be customized and altered as per your liking. Read on for the ingredients, tips, and FAQ to make this chicken rice like a pro.
I have shared the recipe to make the perfect chicken biryani in my other blog and here is the easy one-pot chicken rice you will love.
Chicken: I use chicken legs or drumsticks to make the pulao. You can use any cut with either bone-in or boneless chicken.
Rice: Use Basmati rice to make pulao.
Spices: The whole spices I use are bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. The powdered spices I use are garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder.
Yogurt: Plain yogurt is used to marinate the chicken.
Onion, ginger, garlic: They form the base of the pulao.
Ghee: I make the chicken pulao with ghee; however, you may replace it with any cooking oil of your choice.
Tips and tricks
A perfectly cooked pulao will have rice that is well cooked, not sticking together and the rice grains separated and free-flowing.
Use Basmati rice or a good variety of long grain rice to make this pilaf. When cooked correctly, the grains will be separate, non-lumpy, and will stick to each other.
Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly in running water and soak it for 20-30 minutes. Soaking the rice is an important step while making any kind of pulao. Washing and soaking the rice will help to remove excess starch from it and achieve a non-sticky texture to the pulao.
The water to rice ratio for this dish is 1:1. Adding more than this amount will make the rice sticky and mushy.
The whole spices are important to make the best-tasting pulao. You may skip the ones you don't have but it will definitely change the taste of the final dish.
Salt is adding during the marination of the chicken so adjust the amount of salt you add with rice accordingly.
Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes. You can marinate the chicken for longer if you are planning ahead to make this dish. Place the marinated chicken in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and then use it.
I use chicken legs or drumsticks to make the pulao. You can use any cut with either bone-in or boneless chicken. Adjust the saute time accordingly.
Do a quick release of the pressure and then use a fork to fluff up the rice after opening the lid of the Instant Pot.
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Both biryani and pulao are rice-based dishes. The most important difference is in the assembly of the dish. In pulao, soaked rice is added along with vegetables/meat and cooked while in biryani, the rice is parboiled first and then layered with a gravy/curry made with vegetables/meat.
Basmati rice works best for this dish. Not only does Basmati rice have a great aroma, but it also has long grains that if cooked correctly, are separate, non-lumpy, and do not stick to each other.
Chicken pulao can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Yes, a stovetop pressure cooker can be used. Follow this recipe and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Serve pulao with plain yogurt or raita. It can also be paired with simple curries for a complete meal.
This Instant Pot chicken pulao is:
- an easy one-pot meal
- perfect for busy days
Step by step instructions
1. In a small bowl, add yogurt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chili powder. Mix well
2. Add the chicken and mix well
3. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes
4. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add ghee.
5. Once it melts, add the whole spices (bay leaf, green cardamom, clove, black cardamom, and cinnamon). Saute for few seconds.
6. Add onions and fry until the onion is golden
7. Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Cover and saute for 5 minutes.
8. Drain the water from the soaked Basmati rice and add the rice.
9. Add garam masala, salt, and 1 cup of water. Mix well.
10. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
11. Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao
- ½ kg chicken
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves
- 4 cardamom
- 1 black cardamom
- 1-2 small pieces cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup coriander leaves
- Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly and soak it in water for 20-30 minutes
- In a small bowl, add yogurt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt, and chili powder. Mix well
- Add the chicken and mix well. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add ghee
- Once it melts, add the whole spices (bay leaf, green cardamom, clove, black cardamom, and cinnamon)
- Saute for few seconds
- Add onions and fry until the onion is golden
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well
- Cover and saute for 5 minutes
- Drain the water from the soaked Basmati rice and add the rice
- Add garam masala, salt, and 1 cup of water and mix well
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot and seal the vent
- Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes
- Do a quick release of the pressure
- Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice. Garnish with coriander leaves
- Serve hot with raita