Slow Cooker Chicken Biryani

Yup! I’m trying my hands on a slow cooker (crock-pot) and I am absolutely blown away. My first dish cooked in a slow cooker – Chicken Biryani! I mustered the courage to prepare a complex dish like biryani as my first experiment, not a wise decision I thought midway. But the result was surprising. The biryani was delicious, flavorful, and fragrant! No compromise, whatsoever. I wouldn’t say it was effortless (not possible with biryanis) but it certainly wasn’t as tiring as cooking with the usual vessels. While the ingredients and methods are the same, the steps are altered to suit the crock-pot. Sorry, I couldn’t take a photo!


500 grams chicken

1 tbsp Bombay Biryani Masala (click here for recipe)

2 tsp ginger-garlic paste

2 medium-sized onion, finely sliced

3 tomatoes, chopped

2 potatoes, large cubes

1/2 cup yogurt, beaten

2 cups Basmati rice, soaked for at least 30 minutes

1 cup oil


  1. Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste and the biryani masala for at least half an hour.

  2. Turn your slow cooker to High. It takes at least 15 minutes for the slow cooker to heat up.

  3. Meanwhile, deep fry the onion until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

  4. Fry the potatoes. Keep aside on paper towels.

  5. Pour 2 tbsp oil in the slow cooker and add the marinated chicken pieces. Cover for 20 minutes.

  6. With a wooden spoon, turn the chicken pieces so that they brown a little on the other side as well.

  7. Add the tomatoes, fried onions, and beaten yogurt. Mix well to combine all the ingredients. Pour half a cup of water. Cover and allow to cook for 2-3 hours. Don’t open, don’t stir, don’t turn down the heat. Trust the slow cooker. Go about your usual work.

  8. When time’s up, open and give it a stir. If the chicken is done, turn the heat to LOW. Add the potatoes. Mix. Cover and let it simmer while you prepare the rice.

  9. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil in a separate vessel (stovetop, duh!). Add salt, a bay leaf, and a cinnamon stick. Add the rice and cook until almost done. Soaked rice takes only 3-5 minutes to cook. Strain the rice when it’s nearly done and layer it on the chicken in the slow cooker.

  10. Pour the saffron milk and kewra water all over the rice. Cover and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and fried onions.

Slow Cooker Chicken Biryani is done!