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Chicken Pulao Instant Pot

Chicken Pulao

Easy Chicken Pulao made in the Instant Pot with fewer ingredients and lesser effort. This Instant Pot Chicken Pulao is a delicious, healthy & economical one pot meal that you can make during busy weeknights.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken Pulao, Instant Pot Chicken Pulao
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rice Soaking time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 326kcal
Author: Meghna


Dry spices for Flash Marinating Chicken

Dry Spices for Cooking Chicken

Cooked Chicken Stock

  • 530 ml Which is 2 cups + additional 50 ml Here, 1 CUP = 240 ML


Prepping the Basmati Rice for Chicken Pulao Recipe

  • Begin by washing the Basmati rice several times under running tap water until clear water runs through. This process will wash away the stach and hence, prevent the rice from becoming starchy or sticky. Do not SKIP this step ever.
  • Soak the washed Basmati rice with enough room temperature water for not more than 30 minutes. 

Prepping the Chicken for Pulao

  • Begin by washing the boneless chicken fillets very well under running tap water. Pat them dry with the help of a kitchen towel.
  • Dice the boneless chicken thighs or breasts into 2.5" long chunks. 
  • Add all the spices mentioned above in the "Dry spices for flash marinating chicken" . Add salt according to taste. Coat the chicken pieces very well with the masalas. Set aside.

Pressure Cooking the Chicken first in the Instant Pot

  • Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE and keep it on NORMAL. 
  • Add ghee, when the ghee becomes moderately hot add the whole garam masalas along with the bay leaf and allow them to siizzle for few seconds or until aromatic.
  • Next, add the flash marinated chicken and saute until the chicken begins to change color and becomes opaque from outside.
  • Lower the heat from NORMAL to LOW. Add the crispy onions, the dry spices (garam masala & star anise powder) and the whisked yogurt.
  • Give everything a very good mix and saute just for 1-2 mins.
  • Now, add 1 cup warm or hot water. This helps to build the pressure fast inside the Instant Pot.
  • Cover the lid of the Instant Pot. CANCEL the SAUTE. Seal the Valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 1 min.
  • After 1 min when the Instant Pot begins to beep immediately do a quick pressure release by moving the valve from the SEALING to the VENTING position. 
  • Now, strain the cooked Chicken to separate the stock. We'll need exactly 530 ml cooked chicken stock to cook the Chicken Pulao.
  • Measure the cooked stock and if you find it less than 530 ml add additional water to make it 530 ml in total.

How to cook Chicken Pulao in Instant Pot?

  • Now, add back the cooked chicken along with 530 ml of cooked chicken stock to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
  • Strain the soaked rice completely so that there's no trace of excess water at all.
  • Add the strained soaked rice to the Instant Pot and mix gently with the chicken and stock with the help of a spatula or laddle.
  • Close the lid of the Pot. Seal the valve to the SEALING position and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 4 minutes.
  • After 4 minutes when the Instant Pot begins to beep. Do not do a quick pressure release instead wait for the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the SEALING to the VENTING position.
  • Open the lid, gently fluffy the pulao with the help of a fork. If you do not use AGED BASMATI RICE you may find the regular basmati rice a little sticky at this state but that's quite normal. Allow the pulao to rest for 10-15 mins and than serve for that fluffy Chicken Pulao experience. You may even transfer it to a large bowl or plate and allow the pulao to rest for jus 10-15 mins more.



  1. Measuring Units used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
  2. Instant Pot Used: 6 quart DUO
  3. IMPORTANT NOTE: Measure the cooked chicken stock accurately. It should be 530 ml in total which is 2 cups + additional 50 ml. Here, 1 cup = 240 ml. 
  4. NOTE: If the cooked chicken stock measures less than 530 ml, add water with the stock to make it that exact amount.
  5. Chicken Thighs will remain more juicy in this Pulao recipe.
  6. If using chicken on the bones (cut into 2" chunks): Cook the chicken for 6 mins on HIGH PRESSURE followed by a quick pressure release.
  7. How to make Birista (homemade deep fried onion)? Thinly slice onions. Separate out the pieces by gently rubbing them with your fingers. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan over medium heat. Deep fry the onions in batches until lightly golden brown in color. Keep them aside on a kitchen towel or a metal sieve. This will help to drain the excess oil.
  8. You can increase or decrease the amount of spice level in this Chicken Pulao recipe.
  9. The rice to water ratio is very critical. Hence, follow the recipe to the T.
  10. Wait for 10 mins before opening the lid of the Instant Pot. Gently fluff the rice with a fork. Allow the pulao to rest for 10-15 mins before serving. You can even transfer it in a large bowl or plate.
  11. If you use aged Basmati Rice you'll get excellent results. I used regular Basmati from the supermarket in the USA.
  12. SUPER IMPORTANT: Washing the rice until clear water runs through is mandatory and soaking the rice for not more than 30 mins is extremely important.
  13. Use only BASMATI RICE.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Pulao
Amount Per Serving (178.5 gms)
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Cholesterol 54mg18%
Sodium 170mg7%
Potassium 218mg6%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin C 4.1mg5%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Serving: 178.5gms | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.7mg