Instant Pot Pilau Rice

This Post Contains Affiliate Links. Click Here To Read Our Full Disclosure.

Instant Pot Pilau Rice. How to cook delicious Indian Instant Pot Yellow Rice, otherwise known as perfectly cooked fluffy instant pot pilau rice. Just like the Indian restaurants, but gluten free, healthier and cheaper to make at home in any brand of electric pressure cooker using brown rice.   

Instant Pot Pilau rice
Instant Pot Pilau rice

Instant Pot Pilau Rice

I am an Indian food junkie, so there is no surprise that today I am sharing with you my delicious recipe for instant pot pilau rice.

As a 1980’s baby and a 1990’s teenager I grew up on Indian food. I lived in a small town in the north of England.

Like so many Northern towns in Great Britain there would be always be at least one Indian restaurant in each town.

Long before the towns were littered with more Turkish kebab takeaways than you could count, the Indian restaurant, along with the Chinese, made a welcome change of places to eat out at.

My dad had a favourite and we would eat out at our local Indian restaurant most weeks.

I loved getting dressed up for dinner, having a Malibu & Coke with my meal and getting excited over these yummy Indian dishes.

Whenever I went to the Indian restaurant, I would always have a delicious creamy butter chicken, garlic naan and a portion of chips.

I only had chips because my dad did and at 11 years old, I copied him a lot.

I would look over at my mums colourful pilau rice, but never thought it was as good as chips, so never bothered to give pilau rice a go.

Fast forward to the end of the 1990’s and I got a part time weekend job at the newly opened Indian takeaway.

I was introduced to a lot more dishes and fell head over heels in love with pilau rice.

I loved every rice, but pilau was bright and beautiful, tasted amazing and they always had plenty for me to take some home with me.

After making instant pot Brown rice and instant pot pork fried rice, instant pot pilau rice was next on my brown rice bucket list.

Instant Pot Yellow Rice

Many will know instant pot pilau rice by many different names. The most common is either instant pot pilaf, instant pot Indian rice or instant pot yellow rice.

  • Instant Pot Indian Rice – I like the name Indian rice too. That is because I think of pilau rice as the best side dish to have with an Indian curry. You taste pilau rice and you just know that it is meant to be loaded with a creamy curry.
  • Instant Pot Pilaf – If you Google pilau rice you will be told that it is also called pilaf. Yet I had not heard of pilaf until I got an instant pot. What I think is that instant pot pilaf is what many Americans call their version of a pilau. It is a little different and often has carrots in it and not just peas and is often cooked with the chicken.
  • Instant Pot Yellow Rice – I like the name yellow rice, because I look at pilau and I am thinking of the beautiful bright yellow colour because of the turmeric that is used to make it. Just like the beautiful just cooked bright orange colour you see below:
Instant Pot Yellow Rice - close up

If you are a fan of instant pot yellow rice, Indian rice or pilaf, I can tell you now that you will love this instant pot pilau.

Is Instant Pot Pilau Rice Vegan?

Yes instant pot pilau rice is vegan. It is an easy instant pot Indian rice dish made with just seasonings, rice, vegetables and a little extra virgin olive oil.

You could even skip the sauté option if you wanted to make a plant based version of pilau rice.

How To Make Indian Pilau Rice In Instant Pot?

Instant Pot Pilau Rice step by step

Cooking instant pot pilau rice is EASY and after a quick sauté, ingredients are dumped into the instant pot, you return later to perfectly cooked fluffy pilau rice.

Instant Pot Pilau Rice Instructions:

  1. Sauté onion, ginger and garlic in the instant pot.
  2. Dump in the other ingredients.
  3. Mix and place the lid on the instant pot.
  4. Cook, fluff up the pilau rice and serve.

Yes really, that is all there is to it when you pressure cook your pilau rice. It is a lot lower in calories than the pilau rice I used to watch being cooked and it tastes amazing.

Slimming World Pilau Rice

I know many of my Slimming World and Weight Watchers readers will be asking if our instant pot pilau rice is suitable for their diets.

The answer is a big fat YES.

The only ingredients that are not syn free in this pilau rice is the extra virgin olive oil.

There are JUST 2 teaspoons of oil between four people, so you only calculate for ½ teaspoon per person.

You can also add in extra vegetables if you wish to turn your instant pot pilau rice into a hearty low calorie comfort food meal.

Do You Have To Use An Instant Pot?

No. You can use any brand of electric pressure cooker to make your pilau rice.

I know in the UK its most common to make Pressure King Pro Pilau Rice, whilst in the US it is most common to make it in the instant pot.

The only thing to remember with the Pressure King Pro, is that it is not compatible with an Air Fryer Crisplid.

But apart from that, everything is the same, just buttons in a different order!

Instant Pot Pilau Rice
Instant Pot Pilau Rice
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Pilau Rice

Instant Pot Pilau Rice. How to cook delicious Indian Instant Pot Yellow Rice, otherwise known as perfectly cooked fluffy instant pot pilau rice. Just like the Indian restaurants, but gluten free, healthier and cheaper to make at home in any brand of electric pressure cooker using brown rice.
Cook Time21 minutes
Total Time21 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Instant Pot
Servings: 4
Calories: 249kcal


Kitchen Gadgets:

Instant Pot Pilau Rice Recipe Ingredients:


  • Peel and thinly dice your onion and load it into the instant pot pressure cooker. Click sauté and add a little extra virgin olive oil. As it heats up peel and grate your ginger and garlic. Sauté your onion for 2-3 minutes or until the onion starts to change colour. Cancel sauté. Add in ginger and garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Rinse and pour in your brown rice.
  • Add in your stock.
  • Add in everything else, stir and place the lid on the instant pot.
  • Set the valve to sealing and the cook time to 18 minutes on manual pressure cook.
  • After 18 minutes cook time allow for 5 minutes natural pressure release and then remove any excess pressure.
  • Fluff up the pilau rice with a fork and serve.


You can use any garlic and ginger. Grated works well but an easier option is lazy garlic and lazy ginger.
I recommend this brand for healthy bone broth and soup based stocks to use in the instant pot. They are much healthier, but best of all they make your food taste so much better and give a much better pressure cooker flavour.
You can mix and match with your favourite Indian spices and add more if you want it to have more of a kick.


Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
Are We Friends On Pinterest?If we are not and you use Pinterest then follow us @RecipeThisBlog for more delicious recipes.
Fancy A Video?Subscribe to the Recipe This YouTube Channel for full length recipe videos. Don’t forget to click the bell icon to be notified when we upload a new video. Subscribe Here!
Copyright Notice© ALL content including photos are copyright protected. Sharing of our recipes is both encouraged and appreciated via the social share buttons. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media channel or onto your own website is strictly prohibited.

Can’t make it now? Then pin it for later!

Instant Pot Pilau Rice recipe

Join The Community:

Facebook Group | Pinterest | TwitterYouTube 

Plus, don’t forget to subscribe below to join our email newsletter with updates of our latest recipes, latest freebies, our cooking stories, plus much more:

Recipe This

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes. Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets. CLICKING HERE →

4 thoughts on “Instant Pot Pilau Rice”

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! Can’t wait to try! Loved your instant pot brown rice and this looks even more yummy. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    OMG your pilau rice is the best! I served mine with your butter chicken, and could barely stop from gobbling it all up before the curry was ready. Thank you!!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating