Recipe Remake – Sanaa Biryani (for the Instant Pot)

Recipe Remake – Sanaa Biryani (for the Instant Pot)

Sanaa seems to be on everyone’s list of top WDW restaurants these days. Which sounds great until, as a ketoer, you hear that almost everyone’s favorite menu item is the Indian-style Bread Service.

Nothing about a choice of five breads and accompaniments including chutneys would leave you to believe that there’s any chance that a meal at Sanaa is going to end well for someone trying to maintain a low carb lifestyle, Artisanal Cheese Selection notwithstanding. But there are only so many hunks of paneer a person can eat. OK, fine, I could probably eat my weight in it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss all those amazing African and Indian spices that seem to invariably end up in dishes served over Basmati rice or starchy root vegetables.

This is exactly why I thought it might be fun to try to create a low carb version of one of Sanaa’s classic dishes: African-inspired Biryani with Chicken. Sounds easy enough until you consider that biryani is traditionally a South Asian dirty rice of sorts. In the low carb community, rice is certainly a dirty word. But as anyone who has low carbed long enough knows, rice is really just the vehicle for whatever sauce or other topping it’s served with.

With that in mind, let’s take the trip to Africa…or Kidani Village at least…for biryani!

The description from the Sanaa menu reads:

“African-inspired Biryani with Chicken…Fragrant Rice with Seasonal Vegetables influenced from the Cape of Good Hope”


1 package of Simply Asia – Indian Essentials – Chicken Biryani Seasoning Mix

1 cup chicken stock

¾ cup full fat sour cream

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp onion powder

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 can diced tomatoes

12 oz bag broccoli florets

12 oz bag Green Giant Riced Veggies – Cauliflower with Lemon & Garlic

Salt and pepper


Add the canola oil (I rub it around the inside with a paper towel to prevent things from sticking), diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and sour cream to your Instant Pot. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and add those and the broccoli to the pot. Then sprinkle the onion powder and seasoning mix over the top. While your Instant Pot pressure cooks according to its particular instructions for chicken (fresh or frozen), microwave the riced cauliflower according to the instructions. I generally pressure cook my biryani for the recommended time and then let it warm for however long it takes everyone to make it to the table.

When everything is done, spoon some riced cauliflower into a bowl and add chicken and broccoli on top. I like my biryani like I like my women – a little on the saucy side – so, although it’s not traditional, I add extra sauce on top of the chicken, broccoli, and riced cauliflower.

To paraphrase Tenacious D, this is not The Most Authentic Sanaa Biryani in the World, no.  This is just a tribute.

This biryani should come in at 10 grams net carbs per serving or so, depending on the particulars of your ingredients.

KTK Pro Tip: Double the ingredients so that everyone gets as much as they want and, more importantly, you have leftovers.Nahtazu, and…

Keep Ketoing The Kingdom, Kids!

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