Slow Cooker Chicken Biryani

Maybe you noticed that I’m experimenting with different slow cooker recipes lately.  I’ve had my slow cooker for about 4-5 years, only used it handful of times during this time.  I don’t know what bewitched me, but I’m in this slow cooker craze.
As I have mentioned previously, I love Indian food, and for me to be able to cook Indian food with “minimal” process is almost like a life saving event!  I have been doing some web search on Indian slow cooker recipes and there are quite a few out there.  Actually, there’s no surprise there because many Indian dishes use the Indian version of slow cooking method.  I found today’s recipe from Anupy Singla’s recipe on ABC7 news in Chicago.  In fact, Anupy Singla has a cookbook called The Indian Slow Cooker which I probably will purchase. 


The original recipe called for lamb, but hey, substitute with any meat you like!

Slow cooker size: 4- or 5-quart medium
Cooking time: At least 2 hours to marinate, 3 hours on low
Yields: 8 cups

1, 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
4-6 green Thai, serrano, or cayenne chilies, stems removed
2 Tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 lbs. boneless lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) cubes (I used chicken thighs)
1 cup plain yogurt
3 medium yellow or red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands, soaked in 2 Tablespoons milk (optional)

** This biryani is rather spicy hot; if you cannot take too much heat cut back on the chili peppers.

1. In a deep bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, green chilies, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric, teaspoon of salt, cilantro and mint. Add the lamb and mix to coat. Marinate at least two hours in refrigerator or, ideally, overnight.
2. After marinating, add the yogurt to the lamb and mix well.
3. Turn the slow cooker on low. Sauté the onions until wilted; add the cooked onions,  2 tablespoons of the oil and the marinated lamb to the slow cooker. Cook for 2 hours.
4. On the stovetop, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and tablespoon of salt and turn the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, at which point most of the water will have evaporated. If it has not, use a slotted spoon to transfer the rice to the slow cooker. Discard any water remaining in the pot. Level the rice in the slow cooker with the back of a spoon. Drizzle the rice with the remaining oil and the saffron/milk mixture, if desired.
5. Cook for 1 hour, fluffing the rice once or twice. Scoop and serve this amazing one-pot meal.
(After an hour or so the rice will look like this)


My opinion: YUMMY!!!  I think I overcooked mine (since I had to take my kids to the dentist today), but still tasted wonderful!  As I said before, this has quite a lot of heat involved so if you cannot take too much heat put less of peppers. 
My oldest daughter who doesn’t have much taste for spicy hot foods ate this with yogurt, but the rest of us ate this with gusto ( my other daughter drank mango lassi with this meal).  It’s a must try recipe!!


2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Biryani

  1. I am going to try this recipe this weekend. Any tips? Any changes you've made to this recipe? Also, how does it compare to biryani you've had at indian restaurants? Thanks!

  2. I really enjoyed this recipe, however, next time I will probably add more "sauce" from the marinade. Maybe it's because I over cooked the biryani, but it was slightly on the drier side. Compared to the restaurant this recipe taste "fresh" and less greasy! Let me know how it turns out after you cook this!!

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