Last summer, when I finally got my much coveted Instant Pot, I was a bit too ambitious and thought that I could handle doing something more complex in the IP than just boiled eggs or steaming rice, so I decided to make vegetable biryani as my first Instant Pot experience. Needless to say, it was probably the worst choice I could have made, as I used the pot for sautéing, ended up overheating the pot with the dreaded and then not understood “burn” signal, and then created an inedible brown mush out of all my spices and three cups of basmati rice. Chris freaked out and thought it was an Instant Pot issue and suggested we even return the darn thing.
So today, I was a bit apprehensive again of using the Instant Pot for biryani. But if so many other Indian cooks have mastered endless biryanis in their Instant Pots, even my same model, then why couldn’t I? This time, instead of browning my spices and chicken in the pot, I did this step separately on the stove. I caramelized my onions over the stove, as well. After browning my marinated chicken, I then dumped it into the pot with some of the onions, the rice, the water, and cooked it to pressure. And it all turned out perfectly this time. I probably should have gotten extra long grain basmati rice and caramelized the onions for much longer, but taste-wise and appearance-wise, this is what I was hoping for. I guess second time’s the charm. At this rate, biryani could easily go into a regular rotation, especially if we aren’t always marinating and using meat!