Ambur Biryani… the name makes people of Tamil Nadu hungry for more. Carrying legendary Biryani stories from this region that is 180 km from Chennai, Ambur Biryani is a delicacy that people in Tamil Nadu can even eat for breakfast. Frankly speaking, I can too!
First devoured by Hasin Baig’s great-grandfather, who was a cook in the kitchens of Arcot Nawabs brought the royal food to common people. Once belonging to the royals, the biryani has flavourful ingredients and spices that make it the best in the country. I was introduced to the authentic style Ambur Biryani when I visited Star Biryani. Cooked in giant containers over wood-fired stoves, the biryani is ‘dum’ for some amount of time making the meat super juicy. The recipe consists of usual ingredients; onions, tomatoes, whole spices and GG paste that add to the flavour of the Biryani. Entering Star Biryani, you will be engulfed in an aroma that will make you fall more in love with Biryani than ever before.
If you have also been craving for some flavourful biryani or wish to try your hands at a new variety of Biryani apart from Hyderabadi dum biryani or the pressure cooker mutton biryani, try this recipe. The Tamil Nadu Ambur Vaniyambadi style Chicken Biryani recipe is a delicious South Indian Biryani recipe where the flavours of the chicken overpower the flavour of the spices. With tender pieces of chicken just falling off the bone, and simple whole spices along with South Indian short-grain rice; Zeeraga Samba, this biryani is an absolute winner.
Serve it with simple onion pachidi, tadka raita or some crispy fried chicken for your Sunday Lunch.
Ambur Style Chicken Biryani
A speciality for the Nawabs of Arcot; the Ambur style chicken Biryani is a unique and delicious style of biryani that has an impeccable aroma and juicy bits of chicken.
For Soaking Rice
- 500 Grams Zeeraga Samba Rice (You can use Basmati Rice, but the authentic taste will come with Zeeraga Samba rice only.)
- Water to cover and soak rice
For Marinating Chicken
- 1 kg Chicken
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup Curd
- 2 tbsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Fresh Mint
- 2 tbsp Ginger- garlic paste
For Cooking Rice
- 1 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Cardamom
- 1 Clove
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- Drinking water for cooking the soaked rice
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 2-3 Cardamom
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 2-3 Cloves
- 3 Medium-sized Onions (sliced)
- 3 Slit Green Chillies
- 1 tsp Ginger- garlic paste
- 3 Medium Tomatoes (sliced)
- One Handful Fresh Coriander
- One Handful Fresh Mint
- 2-3 Boiled Eggs (optional)
Wash 500 grams of Zeeraga Samba rice properly to remove most of the starch from the rice (This will ensure you get a delish biryani with separate grains)
After washing, soak the rice in enough drinking water
Keep this aside for 30 minutes
Take one kg chicken and mix all the ingredients mentioned in the Ingredient list for marinating chicken
Keep the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes
Heat drinking water in a saucepan or large dish full of water and add the soaked rice along with the whole spices and ghee
Cook until the rice is just done (al-dente.) The rice should be 3/4 done. To test the rice squeeze a grain of rice in between your thumb and finger. If the rice if 3/4 don, it will be tender but not mushy
Drain and keep them aside for assembling the biryani
Take a pressure cooker and start by heating 2 tbsp ghee or oil
Add the whole spices and let them splutter
Add the sliced onions and cook till they start becoming brown
Add 2 slit green chillies and ginger-garlic paste
Cook till the raw smell from the ginger garlic fades away
Add the tomatoes now and cook till they turn mushy and start forming a gravy
Add the marinated chicken now and cook the chicken till just done. Everything should come together as a thick gravy and the gravy should leave oil
Add a handful of coriander leaves and stir everything together
Check the gravy for seasonings. Add salt and chilli powder of required. Mix well
Add the cooked rice now and stir everything gently
It is now time to prepare for the dum
Dum the biryani for 10-15 minutes on low flame without a whistle
Open the dum and add the boiled eggs
The biryani will have an amazing texture because of Zeeraga Samba rice
Serve hot with onion pachidi and boiled eggs or egg ghee roast
The Ambur style Biryani is made using authentic Zeeraga Samba rice as that gives the right flavour and texture to the biryani.
The Biryani has no other masala but red chilli powder and chicken mixed with curd and turmeric. It uses no coriander powder or garam masala.
Looking forward to your creations!
Until my next recipe,
Stay safe and keep cooking amazing food!