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Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani

Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani is quick to make and full of authentic Indian flavor. Traditional biryani recipes usually slow cook for hours but this Instant Pot version can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. The best part is that it doesn’t compromise on taste at all.

Overhead shot of an oval white platter full of shrimp biryani.

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Authentic biryani is a rice-and-meat dish that is usually slow cooked over a low flame. It combines basmati rice, meat or fish, vegetables, eggs, and spices for a delicious, comforting, one-pot meal. It is often served with fried onions and cooling raita.

Shrimp biryani recipe is easy to make in the Instant Pot in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. This one-pot biryani is a new twist on my popular Instant Pot Chicken Biryani. I love that this one is even quicker than the chicken version.

Low angle shot of the finished biryani on a platter in front of an Instant Pot.

Serve this prawn biryani with a dollop of Cucumber Raita, some fried onions or caramelized onions, or Caramelized Cashews and Raisins and you’re all set.

This Instant Pot Prawn Biryani is hands-down one of my favorite one-pot dinners. I love that it is so easy to make but still so full of delicious Indian flavors.

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make shrimp biryani.

Ingredients you need

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

As with many Indian dishes, the ingredients list for Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani is a little on the long side, but it is mostly pantry ingredients like spices and rice. Here’s what you need to make this shrimp biryani in the Instant Pot.

  • Basmati rice: Biryani is typically made using long-grained basmati rice. If you don’t have it, you can substitute jasmine rice or another short-grain Indian rice. I don’t recommend substituting brown rice in this shrimp biryani because brown rice has a longer cooking time, which will cause the shrimp to overcook.
  • Ghee: You can substitute unsalted butter or coconut oil, avocado oil, or even olive oil if you don’t have ghee.
  • Spices: Whole spices including cumin seeds, bay leaves, black and green cardamom pods, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise pod, and black peppercorns as well as salt, Kashmiri chile powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and ground coriander.
  • Thinly sliced onions: You can use a white onion or a yellow onion. Thinly slice it into rounds or half-rounds.
  • Ginger-garlic paste: You can buy ginger-garlic paste in a jar in Indian markets. If you prefer to use the fresh stuff, use half minced garlic and half grated ginger.
  • Tomato: Use one large tomato, diced. You can substitute a cup of canned diced tomatoes (drained).
  • Plain yogurt: Stirred into the rice before cooking, yogurt gives a creamy base to the dish. You could subsittute coconut yogurt or even coconut milk for a dairy-free version.
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh mint and fresh cilantro leaves add bright, fresh, herby flavor.
  • Shrimp: Use large shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. It is fine to use frozen shrimp for this shrimp biryani, just be sure it is uncooked and thawed before you add it to the pot.

How to make it

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani is easy to make. Here’s how:

  1. Start by rinsing the rice well, then soak it in cold water for 15 minutes.
  2. With the Instant Pot set to sauté, melt the ghee and then stir in the first of the spices.
  3. Sauté until they soften and begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato, then the remaining spices.
  5. Finally, stir in the herbs, rice, shrimp, and water.
  6. Seal the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook on high for 6 minutes.
  7. Quick-release the pressure, fluff the rice, and serve hot.
overhead shot of a platter of prawn biryani.

How to serve shrimp biryani

I like to serve Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani with Cucumber Raita, Caramelized Cashews and Raisins, and Cilantro-Mint Chutney or even Zhough Sauce. Add a side of Butter Garlic Naan, too!

More Indian Recipes You’ll Love

If you love this Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani, you’ll definitely want to try my Instant Pot Chicken Biryani as well as my Instant Pot Chicken Korma, Chicken Pakora, Paneer Pakora, Dal Soup, Palak Paneer, and Tandoori Chicken.

Overhead shot of a platter of shrimp biryani.

More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love

Yield: Serves 4

Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani

Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani

This hearty and comforting Shrimp Biryani is made with fresh tender shrimp, aromatic basmati rice, and selected spices and herbs. It’s spicy and full of flavor. With the Instant Pot, you can make this one-pot dish in less than 30 minutes; a delicious meal, perfect for lunch and dinner.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice in cold water 3 to 5 times or until the water runs clear. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water by 1 inch. Let stand for 15 minutes, then drain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  2. Set the instant pot on the sauté function. Add the ghee to the pot and let it melt. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, black and green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, and star anise.
  3. Next, add the onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions soften and begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Next, add tomato and salt. Cook, stirring, for a minute or so, until the tomatoes soften.
  5. Stir in the chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, and yogurt.
  6. Stir in the mint and cilantro and the soaked and drained rice and stir to mix well.
  7. Finally, stir in the shrimp and water.
  8. Press the cancel button on the instant pot and then set to pressure cook on high for 6 minutes, making sure that the valve is set ot the sealing position.
  9. Once the pressure-cooking cycle is over; quick-release the pressure. Turn off the Instant Pot
  10. Once the pressure is released and the valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid. Gently fluff and mix the biryani with a fork.
  11. Serve hot.

Notes

1. If you don’t have basmati rice, you can substitute jasmine
rice or other short-grain Indian rice. Don’t use brown rice as it requires a
longer cook time that will cause the shrimp to overcook.

2. Ensure that all of the rice is under liquid before you begin the pressure cooking cycle.

3. You can use fresh or frozen (thawed) shrimp.

4. You can store the Shrimp Biryani in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

5. To reheat the biryani, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator if it has been frozen, and then heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals until it is heated through.



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Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 384Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 264mgSodium 1715mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 30g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on July 1st, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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