About this recipe:This is a variation on two of my favourite biryani recipes. I start everything off in a pan but like to finish it off in a slow cooker so the rice is tender. The end result is packed full of flavour and can be as spicy as you like. Best eaten with yogurt or Indian raita.
450g basmati rice
water, as needed
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
4 black cardamom pods
2 onions, sliced
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon freshly chopped mint
3 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
680g chicken breasts, sliced into cubes
1 teaspoon salt
180ml fat free yogurt
4 green chilli peppers
60ml lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2.5 litres water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
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Place basmati rice in a large container and cover with cool water. Let soak, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves and 4 black cardamom pods; fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sliced onions; cook and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger-garlic paste; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle mint and coriander on top; cook 1 minute more.
Stir chicken into the pan; season with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir until chicken is browned, about 20 minutes. Stir in yogurt, green chilli peppers, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, ground chilli powder and turmeric. Cook until oil begins to separate from the sauce, 10 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Bring water to the boil in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, cumin seeds, 2 green cardamom pods, 2 cloves and 2 bay leaves; boil for 1 minute. Add rice; bring water back up to the 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.