A much simpler way of making everyone’s favorite Chicken biryani. Slow Cooker Chicken Biryani – Indian spiced Chicken & Rice cooked in slow cooker, a delicious BIG ON FLAVOR meal ready with NO-FUSS.
Are you guys enjoying weekend? Today was a super busy day for me. I woke up super early, finished bunch of recipes before my trip for which I am super excited. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me talking about those crazy delicious cinnamon rolls I made us for brunch. Ohh boy, they were delicious and no yeast! I already have bunch of cinnamon roll recipes on the blog but wanted to try my hand at some easy no wait rolls and these turned out great! Recipe coming soon friends.
Ok now onto today’s recipe. I grew up eating biryani basically Indian version of one pot meal where rice and meat are cooked together with tons of spices. Biryani is slow cooked which makes the flavors intense and the meat super tender. Now I have always loved eating biryani but never knew how to cook one at home. The real reason being that I was really scared at the thought of trying something that always sounded soo fancy and complicated. Few days ago I came across an Indian Slow Cooker cookbook by Neela Paniz and immediately had tons of pages bookmarked. I mean just the thought of being able to make recipes (that usually take hours in the kitchen) using slow cooker with just few minutes of prep work was exciting to me.
The first recipe I wanted to try was obviously Chicken Biryani cooked in slow cooker as I always wanted to learn to make my own and what better way than to try my hands by making it in a slow cooker. The first time I made it last weekend, our house smelled divine. I mean fragrant smell of spices cooking slowly was simply intoxicating. It was one of the best Biryani’s made in slow cookers.
This recipe takes just 30 mins of prep work and the rest is done by slow cooker. How cool is that?! Few years back I bought this slow cooker and I absolutely love it. The rice is parboiled and while rice is cooking, chicken is marinated in a spicy sauce and some onions are fried. All this takes around 30 mins and then everything is layered in slow cooker and cooked for about 3 hours on low. That’s about it to make restaurant style Chicken Biryani at home with much less effort. Big on Flavors this is one dish great for parties, gatherings and for lazy weekend dinners!
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- 1 cup rice, rinsed under cold running water until water runs clear.
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp milk
- ½ tsp saffron
- 1 large red onion, divided
- 2 tsp oil, divided
- 1 tomato
- 2 tsp green chili paste
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
- 1.5 tsp ginger paste
- 1.5 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Pinch of black pepper powder
- 4 chicken drumsticks, skin removed or left if You like it that way
- After cleaning rice soak it in a pot with 2 cups of hot boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, cut
onionin half. Chop one halfof the onion in finely chopped pieces while other halfin medium thickness slices.
- After 15 minutes of resting, turn on the heat and cook the rice for 3-5 minutes just until rice is just cooked or al dente but not fully cooked as we will cook it in
slowcooker. once its just enough cooked, strain and rinse it under cold running water and keep aside.
- In a small bowl take milk and heat for 30 seconds in
microwave. To it add saffron and crush using backof spoonand let it sit.
- Heat a skillet and add 1 tsp oil and to it add finely chopped onion pieces and cook until softened.
- Transfer the cooked onion pieces into a blender. Add one chopped tomato, green chili paste, salt, turmeric powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, garam masala, yogurt, ground coriander, red chili powder and black pepper powder and blend until you get a smooth paste.
- In a bowl add cleaned chicken drumsticks and this paste you just made. Make sure to make some cuts in chicken so marinade seeps into the chicken. Cover and let
chickenmarinate for 15 minutes.
- Now in the same pan where you cooked onion pieces, add another tsp of oil and add sliced onions and cook on slow to get them browned but not burnt.
- Get your slow cooker ready by heating it up for 15 minutes.
Turn ofthe switch and in the hot slow cooker, rub some oil on the base and sides of the bowl where we will be cooking. Lay marinated chicken pieces first, cover with half of the sliced browned onions, half of saffron milk. Cover with all of the barely cooked rice and add the remaining browned sliced onions and saffron milk on top.
- I personally don't like cashews or raisins in my food but if you want to have the true authentic taste, then go ahead and add some cashew and raisins on top as well. Using an
aluminiumfoil cover the top tightly and then cover this with the lid that came with slowcooker. Cook on low for 3 hours.
- Remove the
aluminiumfoil and let it sit for 15-20 mins.
- Serve with cucumber yogurt.
Recipe adapted from The New Indian Slow Cooker by Neela Paniz
Some more delicious SLOW COOKER recipes ->>
Smitha H saysAugust 14, 2016 at 12:30 AM
Looks delicious. chicken flesh falling apart is making me drool. Hope you are having a great weekend
Alboni saysAugust 14, 2016 at 7:29 AM
Yummy Biriyani !!!
Remya saysAugust 14, 2016 at 10:58 AM
Really tempting slow cooker biriyani….! Feel to grab a portion…!
Lathiya saysAugust 14, 2016 at 12:06 PM
Really yummy biriyani…
Anne saysAugust 14, 2016 at 4:20 PM
This chicken looks absolutely amazing -I love how easy it is!
Sues saysAugust 14, 2016 at 7:02 PM
Biryani is one of my all-time favorite Indian foods and I love that this can be made in the slow cooker!
Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog saysAugust 14, 2016 at 8:43 PM
This is absolutely genius – making chicken biryani in the slow cooker, definitely have to try this asap!
Monica saysAugust 16, 2016 at 7:21 PM
I am just salivating here! This is irresistible and I’m so intrigued about using the slow cooker!! I think I could eat the whole thing for you in one sitting, btw!
sohini saysSeptember 2, 2016 at 7:05 PM
What size slow cooker did you use for this recipe? I have a 5 qt and a more handy 3.5 qt. Which one do you recommend for this recipe?
naivecookcooks saysSeptember 2, 2016 at 7:07 PM
Sohini I would say go with 5 qts! Ohh just make sure that you have enough salt while cooking the rice and in chicken marinade! Happy cooking and do report back! I have already made it twice and love it 🙂 Leftovers freeze beautifully as well.
Mark saysFebruary 3, 2020 at 5:17 AM
Turned out great! Only thing was that the rice which was rather mushy – will pre cook that less next time. Used ground ginger, coriander leaf and red chilli paste as that was what I could find locally, but seemed to be fine.
Only wish you’d put the raisin/cashews into the ingredient list itself as an optional ingredient. I would’ve liked to put them into mine, but was following the recipe listing exactly! Only realised later on when it was mentioned in the instructions, by which point it was a bit late.
naivecookcooks saysFebruary 20, 2020 at 1:05 PM
Sorry that it turned mushy for you Mark. I will test it with raisins/cashews next time and add in recipe. Thanks for your honest review! 🙂
Layla saysFebruary 6, 2017 at 8:06 PM
Is this spicy? If not, what do we out recommend adding to make it spicy?
naivecookcooks saysFebruary 6, 2017 at 8:48 PM
Hi Layla. It’s pretty spicy but to make it more spice you can add more green chili paste and more red chili powder. Hope this helps 🙂
Alison saysFebruary 18, 2017 at 11:41 PM
Looks fab. When you remove the foil do you leave off the lid and turn off cooker for last 20 minster resting?
naivecookcooks saysFebruary 21, 2017 at 11:28 AM
Sorry for the late response Alison! Yes I would leave it uncovered & turn off cooker for the last 20 minutes resting :)Hope you enjoy!!
Farah saysJanuary 13, 2020 at 8:39 PM
do you need to use the foil? what does that do?
Anon saysFebruary 28, 2017 at 4:10 AM
It might be worthwhile to verify whether the slow cooker cooks the chicken to atleast 165F in three hours.
naivecookcooks saysFebruary 28, 2017 at 8:13 AM
My chicken was completely cooked but sure, it’s always safer to verify! 🙂
Nancy saysMay 1, 2017 at 3:59 PM
Sadly, this did not turn out for me. The rice was WAY overdone (had it in the slow cooker for only 2 hours on low) and the flavor wasn’t what I had hoped. Hope everyone else has better luck. 🙁
naivecookcooks saysMay 8, 2017 at 7:25 PM
I am really sorry Nancy that it didn’t worked for you 🙁 It’s my favorite recipe for Chicken Biryani and it always comes out great. Did you use basmati rice? Any you only soaked the rice for 15 mins in hot boiling water right? If you followed the recipe, it should have worked! Regarding flavors, did you found it bland as for me it’s as close to authentic as it can get. Let me know. Would love to help!
Priya saysJune 8, 2017 at 7:31 PM
I don’t have a slow cooker… Can I do in pressure cooker with some weight over it… and should i add water for cooking the chicken n rice layers?
Vignesh Dhakshinamoorthy saysSeptember 23, 2017 at 7:06 PM
What temperature is Low? I have a instant pot where I need to set the exact temperature.
naivecookcooks saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 8:22 AM
Vignesh instant pot is totally different concept than a slow cooker. I am sorry as I haven’t tried cooking this in instant pot.
Felicity saysDecember 20, 2021 at 11:06 AM
I tried this very nice flavours (although I did double the spices), really tasty. The only issue I had was the rice was quite undercooked and I did follow the recipe exactly on timings initially but don’t test to check it was al dente, I’d just cook a little longer next time 🙂 I cooked for 4.5 hours this time.
Tom saysOctober 3, 2018 at 4:07 AM
Hi, I hoping to make this but I’m very nervous the rice will turn to pudding rice (mushy) if you precook it and then cook it for it for a Further 3 hours in the slow cooker. Have you ever experienced the rice being slightly too cooked? I’m tempted to blanch the rice in boiling water for a few mins and allow it to cook in the slow cooker over the course of the 3 hours to prevent it turning into a mushy mess. What’s your thoughts?
Alison saysApril 2, 2020 at 8:51 PM
It actually was one of the best Biryani’s I’ve made! I’m so happy
Shimul saysApril 5, 2020 at 5:01 PM
This was an excellent recipe. Very easy and authentic. I actually made the paste earlier in the day and marinaded longer (about 3 hours).I used 12 wings/drumsticks smaller sized and also did not cook the rice the additional 10-12 minutes, only did the 15 minute soak in boiling water and then rinsed. Rice came out perfect. I read how other’s versions of rice came out mushy so didn’t want to cook the rice as said in recipe.
naivecookcooks saysApril 10, 2020 at 3:03 AM
So happy that it turned out great for you Shimul! 🙂
Ben saysMay 4, 2020 at 2:34 PM
Can you change the recipe to call out that 10-12 minutes is too much to pre cook the rice? From the comments seems like a lot of people are having that issue.
Ben saysMay 4, 2020 at 2:34 PM
Also, the recipe doesn’t mention what to do with the remaining half of the rice or the milk. I assume you layer it on top?
naivecookcooks saysMay 8, 2020 at 6:41 AM
Hi Ben. Sorry for the confusion. So yes you add chicken pieces to hot slow cooker and then half of browned onions, saffron milk and all the “barely” cooked rice. Then top it with remaining saffron milk and browned onions. Fixed in recipe too. Thanks for pointing it out!
Regarding timing yes just give it 3-5 minutes until rice is barely cooked. I fixed that as well. Hope you try this and report back 🙂
Harish saysDecember 19, 2020 at 1:10 PM
Hi…i really liked this recipe of chicken biryani in slow cooker. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow…i hv already marinated chicken pieces. Though i hv few doubts. Firstly, this recipe is tried by others and result is also good as i read but they recommend just soaking rice in hot water and not cooking rice. Should i still set 3 hrs time for this in my slow cooker? Second is, onion is fried so it will smell good . Bur ginger garlic is not fried. Did somebody experience raw ginger garlic smell ? Thanks for replying.
Harish saysDecember 19, 2020 at 1:12 PM
Hi Amishi…i really liked this recipe of chicken biryani in slow cooker. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow…i hv already marinated chicken pieces. Though i hv few doubts. Firstly, this recipe is tried by others and result is also good as i read but they recommend just soaking rice in hot water and not cooking rice. Should i still set 3 hrs time for this recipe in my slow cooker? Second is, onion is fried so it will smell good . Bur ginger garlic is not fried. Did somebody experience raw ginger garlic smell ? Thanks for replying.
Indira Singh saysFebruary 3, 2021 at 3:26 PM
I’m excited to try this recipe using a slow cooker. My slow cooker has heat range High, Low , simmer and warm. should I cook using High or low./