Mains Recipes

Aloo Biryani

Biryani, for me, has always been more than just a dish—it’s a journey through the tantalizing flavors of India, each bite a step into a world where spices dance on your palate and aromas swirl around you like a comforting embrace. Today, I want to share with you a recipe that holds a special place in my heart: Aloo Biryani.

Growing up, I often watched my mother expertly layer fragrant basmati rice with tender chunks of marinated potatoes in her trusty old pot. The kitchen would fill with the aroma of spices cumin, coriander, and a hint of garam masala that would beckon us to the dining table long before the dish was ready. Aloo Biryani was a staple on festive occasions and lazy Sunday afternoons alike, its rich flavors a testament to the culinary heritage passed down through generations.

To recreate this beloved dish, I start by marinating potatoes in a blend of yogurt and a medley of spices. Each ingredient cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, and a touch of garam masala is carefully measured, reflecting the meticulousness that defines Indian cuisine. Adding a pinch of kasuri methi and a sprinkle of freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves not only enhances the flavors but also adds layers of freshness to the dish.

The magic begins as the marinated potatoes sizzle in a mix of ghee and oil in the Instant Pot. The aroma of whole spices cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom fills the air, transporting me back to those childhood days spent by my mother’s side. Sautéing onions until golden brown is a crucial step, infusing the dish with a sweetness that complements the spicy notes perfectly.

Once the tomatoes have softened and melded with the onions, it’s time to add the star of the show: the marinated potatoes. As they simmer gently, absorbing the flavors of the spices and yogurt, I prepare the basmati rice rinse, soak, and drain before adding it to the pot. Carefully mixing the rice with the potato mixture ensures that every grain is coated with the rich, fragrant sauce.

Water is added sparingly, just enough to cook the rice to tender perfection without turning it into mush—a delicate balance that defines a great biryani. Closing the Instant Pot lid and setting it to pressure cook for a mere 4 minutes (adjusting the time slightly to maintain the integrity of the rice grains) feels like sealing in all the love and tradition that this dish embodies.

As the biryani cooks, I take a moment to reflect on how food connects us not only to our cultural roots but also to cherished memories. The anticipation builds with each passing minute, and when the pressure valve finally releases with a soft hiss, the kitchen is filled once more with the heady fragrance of spices and happiness.

Fluffing the biryani gently with a fork reveals a masterpiece a vibrant tapestry of fluffy rice intertwined with golden potatoes, each bite a burst of flavor that transports me back to the comforting embrace of home. Garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon adds the final flourish, brightening the dish and enhancing its complexity.

Aloo Biryani isn’t just a meal; it’s a celebration of flavors, traditions, and the love that goes into every step of its creation. It’s a dish that brings people together, evoking laughter, stories, and moments shared around the table. As I take my first bite, I’m reminded once again of the joy that cooking brings the joy of creating something delicious and meaningful, something that nourishes not just the body but also the soul.

Checkout my other Biryani recipes on my blog !!

Aloo Biryani

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword aloo, authentic, biryani, Fresh Vegetables, potato, spicy biryani, vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4


For Marinating:

  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dagad phool stone flower
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste

For Biryani:

  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 black cardamom pod optional
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper sliced
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • Marinated potato mix
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste



  • In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, dagad phool, kasuri methi, chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt, fennel seeds, ginger paste, and garlic paste.
  • Add the cubed potatoes to the yogurt mixture and mix well to ensure all the potatoes are evenly coated.
  • Cover the bowl and let the potatoes marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking in Instant Pot:

  • Set the Instant Pot to ‘Sauté’ mode and add the ghee and oil.
  • Once the ghee melts and the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom, and black cardamom (if using). Sauté for 1-2 minutes until the spices release their aroma.
  • Add the sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the sliced serrano pepper and chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
  • Add the marinated potato mixture to the Instant Pot. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the potatoes to absorb the flavors.
  • Drain the soaked rice and add it to the Instant Pot. Mix gently to combine with the potato mixture.
  • Add 3 cups of water and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to the ‘Sealing’ position.
  • Set the Instant Pot to ‘Pressure Cook’ or ‘Manual’ mode on high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes, then carefully release any remaining pressure by moving the valve to the ‘Venting’ position.
  • Open the lid, gently fluff the biryani with a fork, and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.


  • Garnish with additional chopped mint and coriander leaves if desired.
  • Serve hot with raita, salad, or your favorite chutney.
  • Enjoy your delicious Aloo Biryani!


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