Slow-Cooked Chicken Biryani


This slow cooker biryani is a variation of two of my favorite biryani recipes, adjusted to fit my family's preferences and time limitations. Biryani can be a time-consuming dish, but this is an easy way to make it from scratch. The end result is packed full of flavor and can be spicy. It's best eaten with yogurt or Indian raita.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


  • 2 ½ cups basmati rice

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 12 whole cloves, divided

  • 4 pods black cardamom

  • 2 onions, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup fat-free yogurt

  • 4 green chile peppers

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon ground chile pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 10 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 pod green cardamom

  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Place basmati rice into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water. Let soak for about 30 minutes. Drain.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves, and 4 black cardamom pods; fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions; cook and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger-garlic paste; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle mint and cilantro on top; cook for 1 more minute.

  3. Stir chicken into the skillet; season with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir until chicken is browned, about 20 minutes. Stir in yogurt, green chile peppers, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, ground chile pepper, and turmeric. Cook until oil begins to separate from the sauce, 10 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.

  4. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt, cumin seeds, 2 green cardamom pods, 2 cloves, and bay leaves; boil for 1 minute. Add drained rice. Bring water back up to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving whole spices in the rice.

  5. Spoon chicken mixture into a slow cooker. Top with partially cooked rice; mix together. Cook on High until rice is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.


If your slow cooker has vents, cover them with aluminum foil.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

316 Calories
12g Fat
22g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 316
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 1219mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 17mg 87%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 418mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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