paneer biryani in pressure cooker recipe
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5 from 10 votes

Pressure Cooker Paneer Biryani

This easy paneer biryani recipe is made in a pressure cooker where the biryani is layered and has the flavors of a dum cooked biryani.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: north indian
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Dassana Amit


For soaking and marinating rice

  • 1 cup Heaped basmati rice OR 210 grams basmati rice
  • ½ tablespoon Ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

For frying onions

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 Large onion OR 120 grams onion OR ¾ to 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 Small to medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 1.5 inches Cinnamon
  • 4 Cloves
  • 3 to 4 Green cardamom
  • 1 to 2 Strands of mace
  • ½ teaspoon Caraway seeds (shah jeera)

For marinating paneer

  • 200 grams Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • ½ cup Curd (yogurt) OR 150 grams curd
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 Green chillies - chopped or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped mint leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala powder OR biryani masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (ground coriander)

Other ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Kewra water Or rose water
  • A pinch of saffron + 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
  • ½ Of the fried onions (birista) for layering - you can reserve a few for garnish
  • 1 cup Water added - for more softer texture add 1.25 cups water

For garnish

  • Some grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • Some fried onions
  • A few coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)


preparing paneer marinade

  • Take 1/2 cup curd in a bowl and whisk it till smooth.
  • Add all the spice powder and herbs including salt. Mix very well.
  • Then add paneer cubes.
  • Gently mix paneer cubes in the marinade, without breaking them. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes to marinate. If you plan to keep longer, like 1 or 2 hours, then keep in the fridge.

soaking and marinating rice

  • Rinse 1 cup of heaped basmati rice (210 grams) in water many times, till you see that the water is clear of starch. Then soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, drain the water very well from the rice.
  • Now add 1/2 tablespoon ghee and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the rice.
  • Mix very well in such a way that the rice get marinated with salt and ghee. Keep aside.

soaking saffron

  • In a small bowl, soak a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon hot or warm water.

making birista

  • Heat 3 tablespoons ghee in a 3 litre pressure cooker. Then add 1/2 teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds).
  • Next add the following whole spices - 1 small to medium tej patta 1.5 inch cinnamon, 4 cloves, 3 to 4 green cardamoms and 1 to 2 single strands of mace.
  • Stir very well and then add 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • Stir and then saute the onions on a low to medium flame.
  • Since onions take a long time to cook, add a pinch of salt to hasten their cooking process.
  • First the onions will become translucent and then start turning light golden.
  • When the onions become golden, then switch off the flame.
  • Remove the cooker from the stovetop burner and place it on the kitchen tabletop or slab.
  • Remove half of the fried onions in a plate. Keep aside. Some shahjeera (caraway seeds) will also come with the fried onions. But it is fine. Do not take the other whole spices. Keep them in the cooker.

layering the biryani

  • With a spoon, evenly spread the fried onions which are in the cooker.
  • Now with a spoon, layer the paneer marinade evenly in the mixture.
  • Next spread all the rice evenly on the paneer marinade layer.
  • Layer with the fried onions. A few fried onions can also be reserved for garnish.
  • Also sprinkle the saffron dissolved water all over the rice.
  • Also add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves all over.
  • Now sprinkle 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water all over.
  • Now pour 1 to 1.25 cups water gently all around along the sides of the cooker. Don’t add water in the center.
  • For a soft texture in the rice, you can add 1.25 cups water. I added 1 cup water.

pressure cooking paneer biryani

  • Cover the cooker with its lid with the vent weight/whistle attached to the lid. On a low flame cook the paneer biryani in pressure cooker for about 20 to 25 minutes. If the pressure cooker whistles, then its fine. I cooked for 25 minutes.
  • Once the pressure settles down in the cooker, then open the lid.
  • Garnish with some grated paneer, fried onions, coriander leaves and serve pressure cooker paneer biryani with your favorite raita, salad or a side gravy.


  1. Instead of paneer, you can use tofu.
  2. Fresh curd/yogurt can also be substituted with thick coconut milk.
  3. Dry fruits can also be added.
  4. Ghee can be replaced with oil.