Pressure Cooker Fish Biryani (with Brown Basmati Rice)-Super aromatic and delicious fish biryani made with brown basmati rice and pressure cooked to perfection with Instant Pot. Easy and Perfect one-pot recipe. Learn how to prevent burn while cooking with Instant Pot too.
I had no exposure to Indian food until I lived in Singapore for few years. In Medan where I grew up, Indian food wasn’t that common, if at all. Chinese, Indian, and Malay food are very common in Singapore. That’s where I started to love Indian food. Now in Minnesota, we are lucky to have some great Indian restaurants and I absolutely love Indian food. Biryani is one of my favorite Indian food. You can’t lie when you cook Biryani. My husband walked into the house filled with this incredible aroma. It’s truly amazing!
I saw some brown basmati rice at the grocery store and I grabbed it without thinking much of what to cook with it. I’ve cooked biryani with regular basmati rice, but never tried the brown rice version. So today on impulse, I decided to do fish biryani since I had all the ingredients.
I must say that I’m very impressed with this pressure cooker fish biryani. The rice has a little more bite to it compare to regular basmati rice, like typical brown rice would, but my kids couldn’t tell. They just ate it without asking much. I like that I don’t have to soak the brown rice either. I know usually my rice cooker took probably about 45 minutes or so to cook brown rice. The whole process of pressurizing (5 minutes), cooking (20 minutes), and depressurizing (10-15 minutes) took probably about 35-40 minutes. So not much difference in time, but it is pretty convenient that I can sort of set and forget!
WHY YOUR INSTANT POT SAYS BURN
I’ve read that it’s pretty common to get the “BURN” display on your instant pot, especially when you cook something starchy like rice and beans. This usually happens during the instant pot trying to come to pressurize. This is actually a safety measure. Common causes are:
1. The sealing ring
This was actually my issue with my brand new instant pot. The lid with the part that holds the sealing ring was defective. That part wasn’t level and so the ring wasn’t sealed properly and the instant pot never came to pressure and rice always got burn because all the liquid evaporates and the cooker is still not pressurized. I ended up getting a replacement lid from instant pot company after they helped me troubleshoot and decided the lid was defective.
2. Forgot to turn the pressure valve to seal
Yes, as silly as it may sound, it has happened to me before too, but this one is an easy fix though! Just remember to seal it next time.
3. Using saute mode then pressure cooker feature
Like in this recipe that requires you to saute some of the ingredients first and then pressure cook it, you need to make sure that you really scrap or deglaze all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pot or it may trigger the BURN display when you pressure cook it
4. Not enough liquid or liquid is too thick
I would recommend not cooking with less than 1 cup of liquid to start with. Not having enough liquid can cause the food sinking to the bottom (because we can’t stir it) and get burn and trigger that burn display. If the liquid is too thick, it will cause a burn too.
HOW TO PREVENT RICE STICKING TO INSTANT POT AND CAUSES BURN DISPLAY
This is applicable when you cook something like this recipe where you saute first before pressure cooking. Saute the ingredients and then add the liquid and use a scrape spatula to scrap the bottom to make sure you get all the bits and nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
2. Add the rice last
After deglazing, layer whatever you need to layer, like meat or veggies. Then sprinkle in the rice and use a spatula to gently push the rice down so it is submerged in the liquid to cook properly. So the rice doesn’t really “touch” the bottom of the pot and has less chance to get burn
3. Thinning down the liquid
I recommend using thin coconut milk in this recipe to prevent the rice from burning. If you use something thick like coconut cream, it will surely cause a burn later.
Don’t let the long list of ingredients freak you out! If you look at them, they are mainly just spices that you can easily find at your local grocery store.
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Recipe is adapted and altered from Ventuno Home Cooking YouTube Video
**Update: Since it takes longer to cook brown basmati rice, I have adjusted the recipe instruction so that the fish won’t be overcooked
*Recipe is written for 6-quart Instant Pot. Cooking time should remain the same for 8-quart size but will take longer to pressurize. For mini duo (3-quart), I suggest to half the recipe and use the same amount of time to cook*
Pressure Cooker Fish Biryani (with Basmati Brown Rice)
- 3 Tbsp ghee/clarified butter divided if cooking on stove-top
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 3 cups brown basmati rice see notes
- 2 cups water see notes
- 1 cup thin coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
Fish and Marinades:
- 2 lbs boneless skinless firm white fish fillet see notes, cut into large chunks
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Small bunch of cilantro leaves extra for garnishing
- Small bunch of mint leaves
- Rinse the rice to get rid of any impurities. Make sure to drain off all water. There is no need to soak the rice with pressure cooker. Marinade the fish with the marinade ingredients and let stand for 20 minutes.
Using Instant Pot:
- Press saute on instant pot and when it's hot, add ghee and let it heat up a bit. Add onion and saute until soft. Add ginger and all the spices ingredients and saute until fragrant
- Add the fish and gently stir to mix, take care not to break the fish into pieces. Cook until they turn opaque and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Use a tong if you have one to gently remove the fish pieces from the pot and set aside. Turn off the saute mode. Pour in liquid and salt. Make sure you use a wooden spatula to scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pot. Anything that stuck there might trigger a "BURN" display later
- Add tomatoes, fresh cilantro and mint leaves. Then, sprinkle the rice on top. Use the spatula to gently push the rice in to make sure it is covered by liquid
- Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Turn on pressure cook, high pressure and set the timer to 20 minutes. It will take about 5 minutes or so to pressurize. Once the 20 minutes is up, wait for 10 minutes and then turn the steam release valve to venting and let the pressure release and the pressure valve to collapse. Open the lid (and be amazed by the incredible aroma) and gently fluff the rice. Place the cooked fish pieces back into the pot. Decorate with additional fresh cilantro leaves. Serve warm.
Cooking on stove-top:
- In a large heavy-bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid, melt the clarified butter, Add onion and saute until soft. Add ginger and all the spices ingredients and saute until fragrant. Add the fish and gently stir to mix, take care not to break the fish into pieces. Cook until they turn opaque and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Use a tong if you have one to gently remove the fish pieces from the pot and set aside
- Sprinkle the rice on top and pour in the liquid and salt. Use the spatula to gently push the rice in to make sure it is covered by liquid. Cover the lid and let it cook for 5 minutes and then open and stir it to prevent the bottom from catching. Let it cook for the next 20 minutes. Then wait 10 minutes before uncovering the lid. Add the tomatoes, fresh cilantro and mint leaves on top. Cover it back to let the residual heat soften the tomatoes and herbs, about 5 minutes. Gently fluff to mix the rice and add the fish pieces back into the pot. Garnish with more fresh cilantro leaves. Serve warm
- If using instant pot and regular basmati rice instead of brown basmati rice, use 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of coconut milk and pressure cook for 5 minutes and then wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure
- If cooking on stove-top, soak brown or regular basmati rice for 20 minutes
- If cooking on stove-top, use 2 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup of coconut milk to cook brown basmati rice and 2 1/3 cups water, 1 cup of coconut milk to cook regular basmati rice
- You can use cat fish, tilapia, halibut, flounder or other firm white fishes you like
OTHER INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
NASI LIWET SUNDA ( INDONESIAN AROMATIC SPICED COCONUT RICE)
EASY PRESSURE COOKER LO MAI GAI (STEAMED STICKY RICE WITH CHICKEN)
TAIWANESE BEEF NOODLE SOUP (NIU ROU MIEN)
Hello, this looks wonderful and I’m excited to try making it. Before I do, though, I just want to make sure-…I normally think of a marinade as a sauce with liquid, but I only see turmeric, chili powder, and salt in your list. Is it more like a rub for the fish, or is there supposed to be a liquid ingredient that I’m not seeing? Thanks.
Hi Jessie, yes this is more of the “dry rub”, you are seeing it correctly, not a sauce marinade 🙂
Exactly which type of white fish did you use? A flaky or firm fish? I would love to make this tomorrow 🙂
I use cat fish. But you can use other firm white fishes like flounder, tilapia, pollock, or even swordfish
I made this last night and it was absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe.
I couldn’t be happier to hear that you enjoy this recipe! Thank you sooo much for letting me know!!! 🙂
We made it!!!!!!!!😁😁😁It’s really delicious 😋😋😋😋
Hi Prinidi, Yay!!!! Thank you so much for letting me know! I need to make this myself again too 🙂
This looks absolutely delicious. Will try it in my instant pot. I’ve not tried cooking fish or any other seafood in the instant pot so far, but this looks sooo good, I have to try it soon! Thanks!
Hi Dhanya, I hope you like it if you have a chance to try 🙂
This looks so so flavorful. I’ve never made biryani (though I love to eat it) and now I know I need to get in the kitchen and do it 🙂
Me too. I was guilty of just eating it and never tried to make it. Now, I’m much more convinced to cook more different kind of biryani 🙂