Instant Pot Vegetarian Paneer Biryani

Instant Pot Paneer Biryani

Fantastic, and supremely easy Instant Pot Vegetarian Paneer Biryani is an easy, authentic, kid-friendly, vegetarian dinner in under 30 minutes.

Instant Pot paneer Biryani in a white bowl

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Why You’re Going To Love This Paneer Biryani Recipe

Ever since I created a one-pot, easy but authentic Chicken Biryani, readers have asked for a vegetarian version, and I finally made it yesterday.

Armed with home-made paneer, and a cup of frozen vegetables, I was ready to get started with this one.

I also have a low-carb chicken biryani that is full of flavor, and definitely worth trying. This one, of course, is not low carb. What it is, however, is delicious and easy.

What is Paneer?

Paneer is essentially a soft cheese, which in addition to being delicious, also tends to stay intact vs. melting when heated. This makes it really versatile to use in recipes such as this Paneer tikka for example.

Check out my very simple recipe for making paneer here.

How to Make Paneer Biryani Video

Steps For Making Paneer Biryani

Step 1: Thinly slice onions, ginger, garlic, and serrano or jalapeño peppers.

Slice onions ginger garlic and peppers for paneer biryani

Step 2: Heat the Instant Pot on Sauté, High heat, and add ghee. To the hot ghee, add cumin, cardamom, cassia (cinnamon) and cloves and let them splutter like popcorn.

overhead shot of instant pot with ghee and cumin seeds

Step 3: Add the onions and cook until somewhat browned. Then, add the ginger, garlic, and peppers and cook until they have softened.

sauteed onions and ginger garlic

Step 4: Spread the rinsed and drained rice over the vegetables. Add water and push the rice down so no little bits are poking up over the water. Scatter the mint and cilantro on top of the rice.

Spread rice on top of the vegetables

Step 5: Scatter the paneer and frozen vegetables on the top. Do not stir.

Ingredients for Paneer Biryani in an Instant Pot.

Step 6: Set the Instant to High pressure for 4 minutes.

instant pot showing 4 minutes

Step 7: Allow the Pressure cooker to rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. This part is important, as the rice needs this steaming time to continue to cook. At the end of the 10 minutes, release all remaining pressure.

Close up of instant pot controls.

Step 8: Stir gently and serve your fragrant and colorful masterpiece!

Ingredients for Paneer Biryani being stirred in an instant pot.

How Do You Make Biryani Taste Better?

One of the biggest complaints I have with Biryani that I order from some of my favorite take out places is how it can be so lacking in flavor.

My trick to making a delicious Paneer Biryani recipe? Spices. But let’s be honest. That’s the trick for making most of my recipes delicious. Without them, all you would have is a pot of rice, cheese, and veggies.

Tips and Tricks to Making A GREAT Paneer Biryani

  • I know most of you will want to add more water to this recipe–don’t do that. The rice was al dente, each grain was separate as you see in the picture, and it all just worked.
  • Use long-grain basmati for this recipe and be sure to rinse and drain well.
  • Don’t use starchy vegetables like potatoes, that will absorb water. I used a package of frozen mixed vegetables for this.
  • You could add a little frozen cauliflower or frozen broccoli to this recipe.
  • This rice freezes very well and also tastes great as leftovers.
  • Serve this with raita, or with this Instant Pot Kadhi Recipe.
  • Some of you will ask if you can make this with Tofu. I haven’t tried that, but I’d recommend that you use extra firm tofu, that you drain it first, and potentially also pan fry it to make it less likely to disintegrate. If you do this, leave me a comment to let me know how it went!
  • I have also used frozen paneer which I got from the Indian grocery store, although I would HIGHLY recommend that you use my Instant Pot Paneer Recipe to make your own! It’s so much tastier and creamier, and it takes no time at all. But if you’re pressed for time, just use the storebought version.
  • If you make your own paneer, make extra. Once it’s done, you can make Instant pot Matar Paneer, or a low carb paneer tikka as well. And of course, there’s always classic Instant Pot Palak Paneer or saag paneer.

How Many Calories Are There In Paneer Biryani?

The calories in Paneer Biryani can vary widely based on the recipe you decide to use or where you order it from. For this Paneer Biryani recipe, you can expect around 300 calories per serving.

Want More Paneer Recipes?

overhead shot of instant pot paneer biryani in a white bowl

If you love this Instant Pot Paneer Biryani recipe as much as I do, make sure you share it with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest so they can try it too.

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! Just click on the stars in the recipe card to rate. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!

Instant Pot paneer Biryani in a white bowl

Instant Pot Paneer Vegetable Biryani

Don’t be intimidated by this list of ingredients. Just chop and prep all the veggies first and it will move fast.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Course: Main Courses, Rice, Side Dishes

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: instant pot paneer biryani, instant pot rice recipe, keto paneer recipes

Servings: 6

Calories: 301kcal

Author: Urvashi Pitre

Click on highlighted ingredients or Equipment to see exactly what I use to make this recipe

Ingredients

Spices for Tempering

Other Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat ghee in the Instant Pot and when it’s hot, put in all the tempering spices. Once they start to sizzle, put in the thinly sliced onion and cook until the onions well-browned and crisp at the edges.

  • Add in the ginger, garlic, jalapeños, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add salt to taste and mix well.

  • If you’re using ready-made garam masala instead of whole spices, add it now and mix well.

  • Spread the rinsed, drained rice across everything.

  • Pour in the water, and gently push the rice so that it is covered by the water. This step is important. If any of the rice pokes up above the water, it is likely to stay a little crunchy.

  • Add in paneer and the frozen vegetables. Spread out the paneer and veggie mixture.

  • Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and mint on top it.

  • Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Then, let the pot rest undisturbed for 10 minutes and then release all remaining pressure.

  • Open and inhale deeply! Enjoy the true-to-tradition aroma of this dish and then mix it gently from the bottom.

Watch The Video

  • I know most of you will want to add more water to this recipe–don’t do that. The rice was al dente, each grain was separate as you see in the picture, and it all just worked.
  • Use long-grain basmati for this recipe and be sure to rinse and drain well.
  • Don’t use starchy vegetables like potatoes, that will absorb water. I used a package of frozen mixed vegetables for this.
  • You could add a little frozen cauliflower, or frozen broccoli to this recipe.
  • This rice freezes very well, and also tastes great as leftovers.
  • Serve this with raita, or with this Instant Pot Kadhi Recipe.
  • Some of you will ask if you can make this with Tofu. I haven’t tried that, but I’d recommend that you use extra firm tofu, that you drain it first, and potentially also pan fry it to make it less likely to disintegrate. If you do this, leave me a comment to let me know how it went!
  • I have also used frozen paneer which I got from the Indian grocery store, although I would HIGHLY recommend that you use my Instant Pot Paneer Recipe to make your own! It’s so much tastier and creamier, and it takes no time at all. But if you’re pressed for time, just use the storebought version.
  • If you make your own paneer, make extra. Once it’s done, you can make Instant pot Matar Paneer, or a low carb paneer tikka as well. And of course, there’s always classic Instant Pot Palak Paneer or saag paneer.

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Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

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Originally Published June 13, 2017

Don’t forget to check out my other Best-selling Instant Pot Cookbooks!

Indian Instant Pot, Keto Instant Pot, Instant Pot Fast and Easy, Healthy Instant Pot & Vegetarian Instant Pot.