I took a cooking class in Mumbai in December 2022, and one of the recipes I learned was this delicious and easy Chicken Pulao. I developed it and modified it to cook comfortably in my Instant Pot. While you can easily make this recipe on the stovetop or finish it in the oven, the Instant Pot gives you incredible results.
In this recipe a spice bag is cooked with chicken, garlic & turmeric in water to make a delicious golden stock. This stock is then reserved and the rice is cooked in it together with the chicken, the spice bag ingredients pureed, onion and more spices. Once cooked in the pressure cooker, you get beautiful and fragrant golden Basmati grains.
As always, I use Basmati rice for my pulao.
Basmati rice is a long-grain rice that is primarily grown in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India and Pakistan. It is known for its distinctive aroma and flavor, and is often used in traditional Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.
The word “basmati” comes from the Hindi language, where it means “fragrant.” The rice is aged for several months to enhance its flavor, and is often referred to as the “Prince of Rice” due to its high quality and premium price.
Basmati rice has a light, fluffy texture when cooked and is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide energy to the body. It is also gluten-free, low in fat, and has a low to medium glycemic index, making it a good option for people with dietary restrictions or those looking for a healthier alternative to other types of rice.
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao
- 3 tbsps Fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 4 Green Cardamoms
- 2 inches Cinnamon
- 8 Cloves
- 8 Peppercorns
- 1/4 cup crushed Garlic
- 800 gms Chicken
- Spice bag
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 cups of Basmati rice soaked and rinsed
- 5 cups of Water
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Shah Jeera
- 4 green Cardamoms
- 2 cups sliced Onions
- Spice paste – spice bag contents + few tbsps stock
- 4 cups stock
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh or dried Mint
- Prepare the spice bag by adding the spices in a cheesecloth and tie it
- Prepare the stock by sautéing some garlic in oil in the instant pot set on saute mode
- Add the chicken pieces, salt and turmeric
- Cover with water, cover, set the IP to sealing mode and set the IP to pressure cooker and select 6 mins
- After 6 minutes, allow the steam to escape and open the lid
- Remove the spice bag and allow to cool
- Remove the chicken pieces
- Strain the stock and save the garlic
- Add the garlic to a processor and add the contents of the spice bag
- Add a few tbsps of the stock and grind
- Turn the IP back onto saute mode, add some oil and the whole spices (bay leaves, black cumin & cardamom
- Add the onions and saute till caramelized
- Add the ground paste in
- Add the chicken
- Add the stock
- Add the rinsed & drained rice
- Add the fresh or dried mint
- Close the IP and set to sealing mode again
- Set the IP to pressure cook for 5 mins
- Allow the steam to naturally escape and open the lid & fluff the rice
- Remove the rice immediately from the IP in order to cool it immediately