"This is a variation on 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. Best eaten with yogurt or Indian raita."
Place basmati rice in a large container and cover with several inches of cool water. Let soak, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable 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 1 minute more.
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, chile pepper, and turmeric. Cook until oil begins to separate from the sauce, 10 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, 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 heat and drain, reserving whole spices in the rice.
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.