Ambur chicken biryani

Ambur biryani one more very famous and popular biryani from Ambur in Tamil Nadu . Most of my friends may not be knowing the Ambur biryani, as they are mostly familiar only with Lucknowi (Awadh) and Hyderabadi dum biryani. But for the motorists, those who travel through Chennai to Bangalore highway will be known about this famous star biryani, who prepares delicious, scrumptious and mouth-watering Ambur biryani. There are many biryani shops with the name star biryani but you should taste only in the real star biryani shop. Many Briyani hotels available in Ambur Town but the best is AMBUR STAR BRIYANI which is delicious in taste. AMBUR STAR BRIYANI has received awards from various medias like SUN TV,JAYA TV,DINA MALAR and more .Whenever we travel through highway Chennai to Bangalore or Bangalore to Chennai, a stop near star biryani is a must. We get it packed for every one and come home and eat it relaxingly and engagingly. In Chennai, there are many varieties of biryani like Ambur Biryani, Vaniyambadi Biryani, Arcot Biryani, Vellore Biryani, Thalappakattu Biryani, Dindigul Biryani and more. These are all named after the town they originated and became popular in. But in recent years because of food chains, these have spread everywhere and made it to the major cities.

Ambur biryani tastes good because it has to be cooked on wood (charcoal) and dum is given with coal from both beneath and on top as well. Ambur biryani has its own spices and everyone has their own secret recipe, but pretty much based out of the standard biryani. One main difference is the rice. Ambur biryani is made with seeraga samba rice, which is small in size unlike basmati rice. Good biryani tastes good because of the ingredients also while cooking which ingredient you are adding first and roasting it. The colour of the biryani is like darker tomato rice colour, but it tastes so amazing. It is served with kathrika Pachadi also known as Brinjal ki chutney or Baigan chutney or ennai kathrika in Chennai.

For this Ambur biryani I have prepared as per my taste and generally a bai style biryani, the only missing part is the charcoal and the seeraga rice. In this recipe, I have used basmati rice and cooked in the chicken curry itself by absorption method and then giving dum. Cook as per the instructions and the ingredients and the order of adding the spices also depends on the taste of the biryani. In this Ambur biryani, I have grounded garlic paste with skin little coarse and ginger paste separately. You will love this biryani as it is spicy and scrumptious. Enjoy making biryani at home for the whole family, you will be more satisfied. I cook my biryani as per my taste and it has to be spicy.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour

Cuisine: Ambur, Tamil Nadu

Serves: 3 to 4

Spiciness: Medium hot


  1. Chicken – 900 gms to 1 kg
  2. Oil – 1 cup
  3. Whole spices

  4. Bay leaves (big) – 3
  5. Green cardamoms (small) – 10
  6. Mace (javitri) – 2 big flowers
  7. Nutmeg (jaiphal, small pieces) – 1/2
  8. Cloves (small) – 10
  9. Cinnamon stick (1 inch) – 5 pieces
  10. For the curry

  11. Onions (big) – 2 or 355 gms
  12. Ginger – 2 1/2 tbsp or 50 gms
  13. Garlic (big) – 9 cloves or 3 tbsp
  14. Chilli powder – 2 tbsp
  15. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tbsp
  16. Green chillies (medium hot) – 10
  17. Tomato (big) – 2 or 350 gms
  18. Curd – 150 gms or 1 cup
  19. Mint – 45 gms or 1 big handful
  20. Coriander leaves – 40 gms or 1 big handful
  21. Salt – as per taste
  22. Lemon – 1 whole or 5 tbsp
  23. For rice

  24. Basmati rice – 500 gms
  25. Water – 2 cups
  26. Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup


  1. Slice the onions, chop the tomatoes, slit the green chillies, chop mint and coriander leaves, and keep it aside.
  2. Grind garlic to paste with its skin and peel ginger and ground to paste, separately. My both the pastes were thick.
  3. I have taken only chicken leg pieces; you can take the whole chicken pieces also. Make a slit on the chicken pieces so that the masala of biryani while cooking goes well.
  4. Wash the rice, soak for 1/2hr and drain and keep it aside.
  5. Heat the big wider vessel, add oil as per your requirement, when hot, add all the whole spices bay leaf, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, mace and nutmeg, let it splutter.
  6. Add sliced onions, sauté till onions are golden and transparent.
  7. Add coriander leaves, sauté for 2mintues, and then add green chillies sauté for 2minutes. Add garlic paste sauté for 3minutes till it is light golden colour.
  8. Add ginger paste roast for 2 min, add mint leaves mix well, and cook for 1min.
  9. It will take 10 to 12 minutes the whole process, until you add chicken.
  10. Add the chicken pieces mix well with onion mixture and cook until the chicken is lightly suated , it will take 4 to 5minutes.
  11. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for 3min, add chilli powder, turmeric powder, mix well and cook for 5 minutes, until tomatoes becomes soft and starts leaving oil.
  12. Add curd and water ½ cup, cook for 20minutes by closing the lid, until chicken is cooked well and forms like gravy consistency and leaves oil. In between stir the chicken curry.
  13. Simmer the flame and cook for 10minutes again by closing the lid.
  14. Add 2 cups hot water, mix well with the curry, add few coriander leaves 1/2cup , salt as per taste and lemon juice, let it boil, add the rice in the curry, mix well.
  15. Add water as required, as it depends how much curry (gravy) is left after cooking chicken curry (gravy). (I added 2 cups water as per the requirement).
  16. When you add the water it should be enough to cook the rice(I added 2 cups water as per the requirement).
  17. Cook the rice on high flame for 3 minutes then on medium, for few minutes until the rice is 50% or more cooked in the liquid itself. In between not often, try to stir the rice and try to bring the rice to top which is formed below while cooking.
  18. When the water gets reduced, you can see the rice on top and you can see still liquid is there, then simmer the flame and close the lid by first putting aluminium foil on top close it no steam should escape and then with the lid tightly for 20 to 25 min or till the rice is cooked.
  19. The sign of whether the biryani is cooked and ready is when you can smell its aroma from the nearby rooms.
  20. Switch off and let it rest for 15 mins. Do not open the lid immediately because the steam inside the vessel will continue to cook the biryani and prevent the steam from escaping.
  21. When the biryani is cooked, you need to be careful while serving. Take the biryani out with a wide spoon or a saucer slowly from one side to prevent the rice grains from breaking.
  22. Serve this Ambur biryani with raita and kathrika pachidi (ennai kathrika) also known as Brinjal ki chutney or Baigan chutney.


  1. For nutmeg, crush or break it into small pieces.
  2. You can reduce the chillies, if you do not eat spicy food or your chillies are very hot.
  3. The gravy quantity should be such that it should be enough for the rice when you mix it.
  4. Carefully add salt for the gravy and rice. Divide the salt quantity and put. It will be easy for you.
  5. For making any biryani, you can maintain from 2:1 to 1:1 chicken to rice ratio. For example, you can use 500 gms to 1 kg of chicken for 500 gms of rice. Obviously, you need to adjust the spices appropriately.
  6. While giving dum or simmering you can keep a flat tava below the vessel and simmer it to avoid the burning of rice.
  7. Always take the biryani out with a wide spoon, mix slowly from one side only. Mix it from downwards and then from sides, so that the gravy and rice is mixed well. As soon as you open the lid you can see that the full flavour and aroma comes from the biryani.
  8. Always try to add mint and coriander leaves good amount.
  9. While cooking the rice add water as required(Seeraga samba rice and basmati rice requires water as per their cooking), in between if the rice is not cooked and still water needed add hot water, mix and cook but not good, as it will not give good result. I try to avoid adding water in the end when rice is cooking.
  10. You can cook the rice with salt, sufficient water in other vessel 50% to 60%, just cooked, but still more cooking is needed, add the strained rice to the curry and give dum for 20min to 25min.
  11. While simmering when the rice is added for dum, just press the rice and see, as you will know how much time it will take to simmer 20min to 25min.