3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot

This dish brings together the best of both worlds- Achaari Paneer and Biryani. Achaari paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian dish where paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), are cooked with pickling spices, giving the dish a subtle pickle-like zing. Biryani, on the other hand is flavorful rice cooked with spiced meat or vegetables. In this dish, I merged these two favorites and created Achaari Paneer Biryani!

This dish is milder than your average vegetable biryani, so if you want to bump up the spice level, increase the garam masala and by another teaspoon. This quick and easy, super delicious meal has become one of our weeknight staples! Add more vegetables to it, like carrots, beans, potato, and you have yourself a delicious Vegetable & Paneer Biryani! This biryani can be enjoyed with raita (yoghurt dip), or with a quick onion relish made by mixing together sliced onions, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne!

In this video, I’ve made this Biryani in my 3 Qt Instant Pot, but it can be made in any pressure cooker, or on the stove-top too. Check out Notes section, for stove-top details.

Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20


  • 1 paneer block- 10oz.
  • 1 cup basmati rice or any long grain rice, rinsed & soaked for 20 minutes in warm water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 teaspoon Panchpuran (Indian five-spice blend-fennel, cumin, fenugreek, nigella, mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2-3 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne



Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper, cube paneer and keep aside. Rinse rice and soak in warm water for 20 minutes.


Turn on Instant pot on SAUTE. When hot, add oil. Add panch phoran seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes followed by all dry spices and stir. Add onion, bell pepper and vinegar. Stir and sauté for 1 minute. Add drained rice, paneer, water and stir well. Close lid. Vent set to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL for 6 minutes.


Open lid after natural pressure release (NPR), fluff rice gently with a fork. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.


Instant Onion Pickle: Mix together all ingredients under "Instant Onion Pickle". Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Ready to serve!


STOVE TOP: In a deep sauce pan or a wide skillet, follow all instructions. Add 1.5 cups water and cook covered for 8 minutes on medium heat.


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