RECIPE: Chicken Biryani – Slow Cooker style

I’ve scoured the interweb looking for a suitable recipe for a Biryani. Some say to cook the rice separately, some are dry cooked meat with the rice par-boiled and added at a late stage of cooking, some add the rice at the start of cooking.
So there doesn’t seem to be a definitive recipe anywhere.. oh dear.

One thing that did seem important is the onions and that it is all cooked slowly so that the rice steams. I also noticed that the rice, meat and onions are layered.

So I’ve taken the best ideas and hopefully will make a rather tasty Chicken Biryani. UPDATE – it was delicious..although I’ll add a little more spice next time. It was quite dry as you can see from the photos so if you are used to the ‘British’ version of having a sauce to pour over make yourself a plain curry sauce to accompany it.

My recipe involves marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices for a couple of hours (or overnight if you are that prepared!), the rice is par-boiled and the onions are slowly fried until golden brown. I then layered it all in my slow cooker.

Chicken Biryani

Looking tasty in the Slow Cooker

INGREDIENTS: 4-6 Portions

For the Chicken marinade:

  • 4-6 Chicken breasts – cubed
  • 5fl oz /150ml Plain Yogurt
  • half tsp Paprika
  • half tsp turmeric
  • half tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • half tsp cumin
  • 4 green cardamoms – crushed seeds only
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – chopped

For the Rice:

  • 12ozs / 350g Basmati rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • half tsp turmeric
  • 4 or 5 cloves
  • 5 or 6 whole green cardamoms

4 medium or 2 large onions – peeled and thinly sliced.

Chicken Biryani

Not the prettiest of servings but it’s the taste that counts!


  • Place all the chicken marinade ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add chicken pieces and stir to coat with marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

15 minutes before adding to slow cooker:

  • Fry the onion slowly in a tablespoon of ghee if you have it (or use oil / flora / butter) until they are brown – but not burnt! Stir them often to prevent them sticking and burning.
  • While onion is frying – Wash the rice and place in a large saucepan with the Rice spices. Cover with boiling water, cook on a fast simmer for 3-5 minutes. Drain and remove the spices. Fluff up the rice with a fork.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and saute the chicken for 5 minutes. The mixture will be quite dry.
  • Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker and pour over no more than half a cup of water.
  • Add a third of the onions.
  • Spoon half the rice over the chicken
  • Spoon half the remaining onion over the rice
  • Repeat last 2 steps.
  • Tuck a bay leave into the top of the rice.
  • Turn the slow cooker to low, place lid on and leave to cook for 4 hours. No peeking or you’ll release all the steam..

Serve with Naan bread, Onion Bhaja, Raita

Chicken Biryani

Served with Onion Bhajas, Raita and homemade Naans

If you’d like to see more recipes click RECIPES

3 comments on “RECIPE: Chicken Biryani – Slow Cooker style

  1. […] Flickr Twitter ← RECIPE: Chicken Biryani – Slow Cooker style […]

  2. Melanie Edjourian says:

    that looks lovely 😉

  3. ulsterphotosimages says:

    Out for a meal tonite and the wife had sticky chicken !!………….looked nice !

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