Tamil Nadu Ambur Vaniyambadi Style Chicken Biryani Recipe

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.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Keyword biryani recipes, chicken biryani, chicken recipes, easy biryani recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


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

For Biryani

  • 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)


Soaking Rice

  1. 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)

  2. After washing, soak the rice in enough drinking water

  3. Keep this aside for 30 minutes

Marinating Chicken

  1. Take one kg chicken and mix all the ingredients mentioned in the Ingredient list for marinating chicken

  2. Keep the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes

Cooking Rice

  1. Heat drinking water in a saucepan or large dish full of water and add the soaked rice along with the whole spices and ghee

  2. 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

  3. Drain and keep them aside for assembling the biryani

Making Biryani

  1. Take a pressure cooker and start by heating 2 tbsp ghee or oil

  2. Add the whole spices and let them splutter

  3. Add the sliced onions and cook till they start becoming brown

  4. Add 2 slit green chillies and ginger-garlic paste

  5. Cook till the raw smell from the ginger garlic fades away

  6. Add the tomatoes now and cook till they turn mushy and start forming a gravy

  7. 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

  8. Add a handful of coriander leaves and stir everything together

  9. Check the gravy for seasonings. Add salt and chilli powder of required. Mix well

  10. Add the cooked rice now and stir everything gently

  11. It is now time to prepare for the dum

  12. Dum the biryani for 10-15 minutes on low flame without a whistle

  13. Open the dum and add the boiled eggs

  14. The biryani will have an amazing texture because of Zeeraga Samba rice

  15. Serve hot with onion pachidi and boiled eggs or egg ghee roast

Recipe Notes

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.Β 


Did you make this recipe? If yes, tag me on Instagram @cheryl_rambles or use the hashtag #cherylrambles

Looking forward to your creations!

Until my next recipe,

Stay safe and keep cooking amazing food!


You can get in touch with me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter, in case of any queries.

A Millennial Wife, Home Chef, and a Work at Home Writer.

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