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Instant Pot Mushroom Biryani

Overhead view of vegan mushroom biryani topped with cashews and star anise.

Smooth and spicy Instant Pot mushroom biryani, vegan coconut brown basmati rice accentuated with cilantro, mint, and cashews, is an easy, quick, and tasty Indian-inspired side dish or light one-pot meal.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 cardamom pods - 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 2 - 4 small green chilies (or 1 jalapeno) sliced or chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 medium onion diced (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (turmeric powder)
  • 1 -2 teaspoons red chili powder or ground red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can of coconut milk (15 ounces/400 grams)
  • 10 ounces (300 grams) sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup of raw or roasted cashews
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Dry roast the spices. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté. When it beeps to indicate it has heated, add the bay leaf, star anise, cloves, cardamom, and chilies. Stir the spices for about 30 seconds.
  2. Onions. Add the onions and continue stirring for another 3 minutes until they soften and start to get translucent. If the onions threaten to stick, add water a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Garlic, ginger, and spices. Add in the garlic and ginger. Then add the turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala. Stir to mix.
  4. Tomatoes and water. Add the tomatoes and ¾ cup of water. Stir for another minute. Use a wooden spoon to clear the bottom of the Instant Pot. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  5. Coconut milk, mushrooms, fresh herbs, and rice. Mix in the coconut milk. Check again that the bottom of the Instant Pot is clean. Add the mushrooms and chopped cilantro and mint. Add the rice and stir all the ingredients.
  6. Cook the biryani. Secure the lid of the Instant Pot. Set the steam handle to Sealing. Cook the biryani on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off the warming function. When the pressure-cooking cycle is completed, leave the pot alone for 5 minutes (natural pressure release).
  7. Finish. After the natural release, open the steam handle to release the pressure. When the silver pressure valve sinks down, carefully remove the lid from the Instant Pot.
  8. Serve. Transfer the rice to a medium serving bowl. Mix in the cashews (if using). If you run across the star anise or bay leaf, remove them. Add salt and/or black pepper to taste. Top with extra chopped cilantro and mint if desired.

Notes

  • The cook time includes 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to heat to High Pressure.
  • Use the following adjustments for whole spices to ground: 1 whole star anise = ½ teaspoon of anise seeds or ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds. If you don't like the flavor of anise, consider using a cinnamon stick as a substitute. 1 bay leaf = ¼ a teaspoon of dried thyme. 4 cardamom pods (green cardamoms) = ¼ a teaspoon of cardamom seeds or ½ a teaspoon of ground cardamom.
  • Use white button mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, baby Bella, or a mushroom mix.
  • Follow the instructions to make this on the stovetop (although you can keep the heat on throughout). Use a heavy-bottomed pot. After adding the rice, bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover the pot and cook the rice for 30-35 minutes until it is tender.

Keywords: Instant Pot mushroom biryani, Instapot, vegan coconut rice, plant-based biryani, stovetop biryani, brown basmati rice

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