This Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani with vegetables is a delicious one-pot meal. This is a lighter version of the rich, and fragrant layered casserole of rice, shrimp, vegetables, and spices. It is gluten free and dairy free. Serve with a side of a few chips, pickles, or raita (flavored yogurt).
Instant pot biryani or cooker biryani as it was called before instant pots took over the scene, is a popular dish among working families. It takes the classic slow-cooked rice casserole and creates similar flavors in much less time and effort.
Notice how I said ‘similar’ and not ‘same’. There is a textural difference between the two versions, but the flavor infusion is very similar. The textural difference is because of the different ways of cooking. The traditional biryani has to cook in stages. Each component is par-cooked differently and later assembled and slow-baked for the final dish.
In cooker biryani, one can not fine tune these steps. But that is not why it is popular. All components are cook together in a sealed environment and the flavors infuse better. With the right ratio of ingredients all components cook at the same time as well, creating the same flavors in much less time.
No, I am not an instant pot fanatic. But I have been using a pressure cooker from the time I started cooking. It was one of the first things I and friends bought when we moved into our first apartment. I still use it often.
More Pressure Cooker Recipes
Instant-pot is the traditional pressure cooker with autonomous functions. You don’t have to manually turn it on and off. Make the selections and you can walk away. No more waiting for the timer to go off or listening for the pressure release valve.
Having said that Instant Pot has one distinct advantage – it doesn’t heat the kitchen as the heat loss is very minimal. This makes it an ideal cooking choice in summer. So recipes like these are my favorite. In about 30 minutes you have a one-pot meal to serve. Nothing else to make, nothing else to clean up.
Of late DH has been pretty regular in taking care of the dishes, I am sure he appreciates this as well.
Ingredients for Easy One Pot Shrimp And Vegetables Biriyani
Here are the ingredients for the biryani
- Basmati Rice – Look for long grain aged versions
- Shrimp – look for large / jumbo varieties
- Whole spices, Garam Masala & Ginger
- Vegetables – Frozen bag of peas and carrots, onions, tomatoes
- Herbs – Cilantro and mint
- Cashew nuts and raisins (optional)
Making the Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani
The traditional biriyani recipes call for soaking and draining the rice. It is then par-cooked and layered with the meat/vegetables before baking to finish cooking.
Since we are cooking under pressure just wash and soak the rice for a few minutes – while you get the other things ready. Drain the soaked rice when you turn the Instant Pot on. A note of caution though if you have to step away and the rice is soaked for 30 minutes or longer (if it looks a little softened or swollen) drain it for 20 to 30 minutes before proceeding or change the ratio of rice to water to 1: 3/4.
Step 2 (Optional)
Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and add oil or a mix of oil and ghee. You can fry a few slices of onions, cashew nuts, and raisins. Drain these and reserve. This step is optional but highly recommended as the caramelized onion flavor greatly enhances the dish.
After this add whole spices, remaining onions, ginger, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. The order doesn’t matter much, but be sure to give these ingredients a heads tart before adding garam masala, or chili powder.
Turn off and add the shrimp. Mix and sprinkle about a third of the reserved fried mix. Spread the rice on top and add water. Sprinkle another third of the fried ingredients and place the lid on with the pressure valve in a sealed state.
Press the manual or pressure cook button (choose low setting if available) and set it for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually. If you want to set it and go – set pressure cook for 3 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork. Sprinkle the remaining fried ingredients on top right before serving.
Usually a spicy curry (salan) or a cool raita accompany biryani. I find salan to be rich and too spicy and would prefer raita. Raita is cool and refreshing as well. Recipe for cucumber raita is given below.
Papad or chips and pickles are other popular sides are
Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani
- 2 C Basmati Rice Note 1
- 2 C Water (Note)
Veggies and Protein
- 2 C Frozen green peas and carrots Note 2
Whole Spice (Use all or what you have)
- 2 lb Shrimp Peeled and Deveined
- 3 Tbsp Oil/Ghee Notes
- 2 – 3 Bay leaves
- 4 – 6 Green Cardamoms
- 6 Whole Cloves
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds Optional, I don't use.
- 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
For Curry Base
- 1 Onion – medium
- 2 Tomatoes , Medium
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Inch Fresh Ginger Root
- 2- 3 Green Chili Optional, To Taste
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder / paprika
- 1 1/2 Tsp Salt or to taste
Other Herbs and Garnishes
- 3 Tbsp Cashew Nuts Raw, Broken
- 2 Tbsp Raisins
- 1/4 C Cilantro Chopped
- ¼ C Mint Chopped
For Easy Cucumber Raita
- 6 – 8 Inch Cucumber
- 2 C Plain yogurt – Whole/ Skim/ Non Dairy
- 1/4 Tsp Roasted Cumin Powder (optional)
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Or any Mild Chili powder (Optional)
- Salt To Taste (black salt if available)
- 2- 3 Sprigs Cilantro , Chopped
- Wash and rinse the basmati rice in water until water turns clear. Soak in plenty of water for a few more minutes.(Note 3).
- Slice the onions thin, use a Microplane to grate the ginger and garlic fine. Chop the tomatoes. Chop the cilantro and mint. If using fresh veggies chop them into bite-sized pieces.
- Rinse, pat dry and remove any stray shells from the shrimp.
- Drain the rice.
- Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil (or ghee) to the pot. Fry a handful of thinly sliced onions, cashews, and raisins. Drain and reserve.
- Saute for 30 seconds or until the spices are fragrant.
- To the hot oil, add all the dry whole spices, onions, along with green chili (if using), Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion turns light brown (Note 4). Add the grated ginger, garlic and tomatoes and cook covered for a couple minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
- Turn off and the powdered spices (garam masala and paprika). Wait for 30 seconds for the spices to release its aroma. Add vegetables and the shrimp. Mix and sprinkle some mint coriander and a third of the fried ingredients on top.
- Add the drained rice. Use a spatula to level the rice. Pour the water evenly on top. Again sprinkle some mint, coriander and a another third of the fried ingredients on top.
- Close the pot with its lid, seal the vent, and then press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on low pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes (Note 5) and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork. Sprinkle the remaining green herbs and fried ingredients on top.
- Serve the biryani with a side of raita (recipe below), chips or papad and pickle!
For Cucumber Raita
- If the cucumber is waxed peel it. Cut it lengthwise in half and scoop out the seeds. Coarsely grate the cucumber. Use a kitchen towel to blot the excess juices from the cucumber. Whisk yogurt, and salt together. Add cucumbers and cumin powder. Mix well and adjust salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to a day.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle the cayenne pepper and finely chopped cilantro leaves on top and serve.
- Use premium quality aged long grain basmati rice. Rinse well to get rid of any extra starch.
- I use a mix of oil and ghee. Ghee adds more flavor to the fried ingredients.
- Lima beans and French beans are other vegetables to add to the biryani .
- If soaking the rice for 30 minutes or longer or if the soaked rice is looking swollen, reduce the water to 3/4 the amount of rice.
- If the onions are sliced thin they caramelize faster.
- You could wait up to 10 minutes before releasing the pressure.
- For stove top version use 1.5 C water for each 1 C rice .
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.