Can Biryani be healthy?
Decadent is a word I would use to describe biryani. It is after all a meal fit for royalty. But it is a dish that is quite high in calories and rightly so, that’s part of what makes it so tasty. However I do believe we can make it with fewer calories and have it taste just as good. Purists will argue that I have made a pulao and not a biryani but to them I say, OK. Anyway I will be using my Instant Pot for this recipe which is basically a pressure cooker. But you can make this recipe even without one.
Anyway enough jibber jabber lets get cooking!
How to make it without the instant pot?
If you don’t have an instant pot that’s ok. You can still make this recipe. What you will want to do is half cook/par boil the rice and set it aside. In a large pot follow the same process of browning/frying the onions and then adding in the chicken and the mint leaves. After the chicken is kind of just cooked on the outside add in the 150ml of water and then layer the half cooked rice on top and then cover with a lid and cook on the lowest heat for 20-30min till the chicken is fully cooked. It’s very important that the heat is super low. A trick you can use is place a frying pan on the heat and put the dish on that.
I did a video a few years ago with that technique. You can watch it here. In this video you will notice I also use some dough to seal the lid on the dish but if you have one of those heavy lids you don’t need to do that.
Nutrition Info (Per serving)
- Calories: 666
- Carbs: 91g
- Fat: 16g
- Protein: 40g
- Fiber: 2g
This recipe makes 4 servings. Get this recipe on myfitnesspal. Now this might still be a lot of calories for some people so you can always just eat a half portion. To drop the calories further you can cook this entire recipe with 1 tbsp of ghee instead of two. Swap out the chicken legs for chicken breasts (if you do this I recommend not using the instant pot as the breast will overcook). And you can also reduce the amount of rice per serving. Your average chicken biryani can have as many as 1200 calories in a plate. So in comparison this is fewer calories and far less FAT in it.
Healthy Chicken Biryani (Instant Pot Recipe)
- 4 Full Full Chicken Legs (Skinless)
- 150 grams Basmati Rice
- 100 grams Yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Ghee I recommend this one
- 150 grams Red onion
- 25 grams Mint Leaves
- 15 grams Coriander
- 10 grams Ginger Garlic Paste I recommend this one
- 150 ml Water
- 1.5 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Tumeric I recommend this one
- 1 Tsp Red Chili Powder I use this
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder I recommend this one
- 1 Tsp Cumin Powder I recommend this one
- 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder I recommend this one
- 3 Cloves Buy Online
- 3 Green Cardamom I recommend this one
- 2 Black Cardamom I recommend this one
- 8 Whole Peppercorns I recommend this one
- Start by washing the rice under some running water till the water runs clear. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl whisk the yogurt to make it smooth and then add in the ginger garlic paste, salt, tumeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala. Give everything a good mix and let the chicken marinate for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
- Slice the red onions and instead of cutting it into rings, slice it in the opposite way to get the perfect cut. Watch the video for reference.
- Turn the instant pot on and set it to sautee function and heat the ghee. Once it melts add the onions and sautee till nice and brown. Add in all the whole spices as well.
- Browning the onions takes time to season it with a bit of salt to help them break down. If needed add a tbsp of water to help them brown evenly.
- Once they are nice and brown add in the chicken and give everything a good mix and you just want the chicken to get a bit of colour on the outside. Just let the pink flesh turn white and then remove the chicken from the instant pot.
- Now strain and add the rice to the instant pot along with the 150ml of water and mint leaves. Remember the ration is 1:1 for rice cooking. Give everything a good mix and spread it evenly in the instant pot. Also add salt at this point to the rice. About 1 tsp.
- Turn off the sautee function and add in the chicken and place it on top of the rice.
- Cover with the lid, set the nozzle to seal position and pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes set a timer for an additional 5 minutes and then release the pressure valve.
- Remove the chicken from the top and give the rice a good fluff with a fork and add in the fresh coriander.
- Now serve the chicken and rice together.