This Instant Pot jackfruit biryani (Kathal Biryani) is a tasty Indian, vegetarian rice recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner. You can use mushrooms, paneer, asparagus or artichoke hearts instead of jackfruit in this recipe. It’s gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
This pressure cooker jackfruit recipe is from the Authentic Indian Cooking With Your Instant Pot © 2022 by Vasanti Bhadkamar-Balan. Reproduced by permission of Page Street Publishing. All rights reserved.
INSTANT POT JACKFRUIT BIRYANI (SPICED RICE)
Yes, this is an Instant Pot biryani recipe with jackfruit as the key ingredient! While the ripe fruit is sweet, the young, green jackfruit tastes like the heart of palm (or think artichoke hearts, white asparagus, water chestnut).
In India, jackfruit trees are very common and the meat of the fruit can be used to make homemade chips, pickles and the classic Maharashtrian jackfruit stir-fry (fanasachi bhaji).
The tropical fruit is considered a vegetarian meat substitute, with its resemblance to pulled or shredded meat when cooked. You might have heard or seen ‘pulled BBQ jackfruit in burgers or in Tex Mex dishes. It is a perfect alternative to chicken or lamb in classic biryani recipes, turning them into vegan biryanis!
You can find fresh or frozen young green jackfruit in Indian or Asian grocery stores. Canned green jackfruit is also available at some grocery stores or online like this one on Amazon If you use the canned variety, rinse it well and soak it in hot water for 30 minutes to lessen the briny flavor.
Find more Instant Pot jackfruit recipes here.
SO, WHAT IS BIRYANI?
Biryani is an Indian dish that includes rice and either lamb, chicken, fish, and vegetables along with spices like saffron, cumin, garam masala and turmeric. It will often be cooked with aromatics such as ginger, garlic and onions. Think of it as Indian fried rice or a rice pilaf.
The Instant Pot is great for making biryani dishes as you can often cook everything together for an easy one-pot dinner.
JACKFRUIT BIRYANI VARIATIONS & SUBSTITUTES
- Biryani masala is a spice blend readily available in Indian stores or on Amazon (like this one) or other online retailers. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with the same amount of garam masal with 1 dried bay leaf, 3 to 4 petals of star anise, 1 pod black cardamom and 4 to 5 black peppercorns added to it.
- Replace the jackfruit with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, paneer or shrimp. Use the same settings for time and pressure.
- You can use pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or lamb in the recipe. Substitute 1 tablespoon (9 g) of chickpea flour in the marinade with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Sauté the meat for 4 to 5 minutes before layering on the rinsed rice. Follow the rest of the recipe’s directions for cooking the rice and meat together.
MORE INDIAN INSTANT POT RECIPES HERE
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- 17+ Delicious Instant Pot Indian Recipes
- Instant Pot Lamb Curry With Tomato & Coconut
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- 10 Delicious Instant Pot Biryani Recipes
Instant Pot jackfruit biryani is a delicious, vegetarian Indian rice dish that can be served as a main dish or a side. Green, young jackfruit is a popular meat substitute with a similar texture to pulled pork. With its neutral flavor, it’s perfect for taking on the spices and aromatics of the dish.
- 1 lb (454 g) fresh or thawed frozen young green jackfruit chunks (see Variations above)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander seed
- Red chili powder, as needed
- 1 tbsp (9 g) besan (chickpea flour or another flour)
- Salt, as needed
- 2 cups (400 g) uncooked basmati rice
- ¼ cup (60 ml) neutral oil of choice
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- Salt, as needed
- ½-inch (1.3-cm) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
- 2 tsp (4 g) biryani masala (see notes)
- 1 small tomato, pureed
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, for garnishing
- Serve with basic raita (cucumber yogurt) and naan.
- To make the marinade, place the jackfruit in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, chickpea flour and salt over the jackfruit. Toss the jackfruit to coat it evenly in the spices. Let the jackfruit marinate on the counter while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- To make the biryani, rinse the rice under cold tap water until the water runs clear. Set the rice aside.
- Place the inner pot in the Instant Pot and press the Sauté button. Once hot, add the oil and onions. Season the onions with salt to help them soften. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring them frequently until they are golden brown. Set aside about one-third of the fried onions for garnishing the dish.
- Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and sauté the mixture for 1 minute. Add the biryani masala spiced blend and sauté the mixture for 30 seconds to let the spices bloom.
- Add the tomato and stir the ingredients to combine them. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with a splash of water by scraping it with a wooden spoon. This is an important step; if the bottom of the pot is not deglazed well, the “burn” error might appear during the pressure-cooking stage. Cook the mixture for another 5 minutes, until the tomato puree loses most of its moisture.
- Stir in the marinated jackfruit and toss it gently to combine it with the biryani mixture, making sure the jackfruit chunks don’t break apart. Sauté the mixture for about 1 minute, stirring it once or twice. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.
- Spread the rinsed rice in an even layer on top of the spiced jackfruit chunks. Gently pour in the water without disturbing the layers of jackfruit and rice, ensuring the rice is fully immersed.
- Close the Instant Pot’s lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Press the Rice button and use the default settings for time and pressure, 12 minutes at low pressure. When the cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally—which will take 10 to 12 minutes—and then open the lid.
- Transfer the biryani to a serving bowl or a deep platter. Garnish the biryani with the reserved fried onions and cilantro. Serve it warm with the raita on the side, and maybe some naan bread.
- Biryani masala is readily available in Indian stores or on Amazon or other online retailers. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with the same amount of Easy Garam Masala (page 172) with 1 dried bay leaf, 3 to 4 petals of star anise, 1 pod black cardamom and 4 to 5 black peppercorns added to it.
- Storage tips: As with most cooked rice dishes, the key is to cool and refrigerate leftover rice as quickly as possible. Spread it out in a thin layer on a baking sheet or tray so it cools rapidly. Then, when cold, put into a container, cover and chill in the fridge. Keep the rice for no more than a day before reheating it – and then only reheat it once.
- Freezing: Biryani can be frozen for up to 2 months. Once cooled, portion into airtight containers before placing them into the freezer to store. Optionally, if you want to prevent air from getting in and to stop the odour of the biryani from escaping into your freezer, wrap the container in a layer of cling film. Thaw out overnight in the fridge and reheat with a splash of water or stock to moisten the rice.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 326
- Sugar: 2.6 g
- Sodium: 572.3 mg
- Fat: 16.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 54.1 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 4.7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Jackfruit Recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Jackfruit Rice, Jackfruit Biryani, Biryani Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian