Star Hotel Style Ambur Chicken Biryani

5 from 2 votes

Ambur Biryani is a traditional Tamilnadu Arcot Muslim Style Biryani. It is popularly served at Star Biryani Hotel. Make this one-pot Star Hotel copycat Ambur Chicken Biryani at home using my easy recipe.

Biryani can be made in multiple ways. Here are some of the most loved Biryani recipes: Mutton Biryani, Chicken Dum Biryani, Egg Dum Biryani, Kathal Biryani, and Hyderabadi Fish Biryani.

Ambur chicken biryani served on a plate.
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About Ambur Chicken Biryani

Star Hotel Copycat Ambur Chicken Biryani is a mildly flavored one-pot rice dish where Seeraga Samba rice is cooked with bone-in chicken pieces, fresh herbs, and a few mild spices.

My recipe for making ambur biryani tastes exactly like the popular “Star Ambur Biryani” outlets that are all over South India.

Traditionally, Ambur biryani was slow-cooked on a wood fire using the dum technique, but my easy recipe shows you how to make it in a pot over the stovetop.

History Of Ambur Biryani

Ambur Biryani comes from Ambur, a small town in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. It was first cooked for the Nawabs of Arcot in the 18th century.

This traditional Tamilnadu Arcot Muslim Style Biryani was introduced to the Arcot royals through their connection with the Hyderabadi Nizams.

Hasin Baig, a cook at the royal palace of Arcot, regularly made Ambur biryani for the royals. A few years later, his son Kurshid Baig started selling this delicacy to the commoners. Soon, the Ambur Star Biryani hotels came up, and now they have chains all over South India and other major cities in India, as well as in many countries abroad.

Ambur Biriyani is spelled Ambur Briyani, but they have not changed it yet.

Ingredients

Ambur chicken biryani ingredients list 1.
Ambur chicken biryani ingredients list 2.
Ambur chicken biryani ingredients list 3.

Rice – It uses a special variety of short-grain rice: Seeraga Samba Rice (Jeeraga Samba Rice).

Seeraga Samba is a variety of rice primarily grown in India, especially in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

It is a small-grained, aromatic rice known for its unique flavor and fragrance. The name “Seeraga” is derived from the Tamil word “Seeragam,” which means “cumin seeds,” referring to the tiny size of the rice grains and their similar flavor profile to cumin.

Seeraga Samba is widely used in South Indian cuisine, particularly in biryani, pulao, and other rice-based dishes. It imparts a delicate aroma and enhances the flavor of the dish. It is also popular for its unique texture and ability to separate grains when cooked.

To make ambur biryani, you can replace Seeraga Samba Rice with any other non-sticky short-grain rice, such as Surti Kolam, Sona Masuri, etc.

Chicken – Use skinless bone-in chicken pieces for the best flavor.

Red Chilli Paste – Prepared with dry red chilies, this ingredient makes a big difference in the taste of the Ambur star biryani.

I make my own Asian Red Chili Paste at home, but you can also buy a bottle.

Whole Spices – You will need a few whole spices such as cinnamon (dalchini), cloves (laung), green cardamoms (hari elaichi), and bay leaves (tejpatta).

Fresh Herbs – Fresh herbs like cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and mint leaves add a refreshing flavor.

Others – You will also need onions, oil, plain yogurt (dahi, curd), ginger-garlic paste, fresh tomatoes, freshly squeezed lime juice, salt, and water.

How To Make Ambur Chicken Biryani

Wash 2 cups of Seeraga Samba Rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 4-5 cups of water for 30 minutes.

Heat 5 tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottom large pot over medium-high heat.

Oil heating in a large pot.

Add the following ingredients once the oil is hot, and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.

  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 2 bay leaves
Whole spices added to the pot.

Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions and fry until onions turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pot.

Add 2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste and 1 tablespoon red chili paste, and fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Ginger garlic paste, chilli paste added to the pot.

Now add 1 cup thinly sliced tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Tomatoes added to the pot.

Add ¼ cup of whisked plain yogurt and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Yogurt and lime juice added to the pot.

Add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon chopped mint and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.

Mint and cilantro added to the pot.

Now add ½ kg of rinsed skinless bone-in chicken (cut into 1-½ inch pieces) and 2 teaspoon salt and toss it well with the masala. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Chicken and salt added to the pot.

Add 3 cups of water and stir gently.

Water added to the pot.

Drain the water from the rice and spread the rice over the masala very gently.

Rice added to the pot.

Reduce the heat to very low.

Cover the pot with a tight lid and cook the biryani for 30-35 minutes or until the rice is perfectly cooked and all the liquid is absorbed.

Pot covered with a lid.

Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Ready ambur biryani.

Fluff the Ambur biryani using a fork.

Serve hot brinjal curry, raita, and fried papad.

Fluffed ambur chicken biryani.

Pro Tips By Neha

If your heat doesn’t go very low, then keep a griddle (tawa) over the flame and then keep the pot over it to cook the biryani perfectly.

Add more red chili paste if you like spicer Ambur biryani.

The water and rice measurements are very important. Use standard cup measures to measure the ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Ambur biryani different from other varieties of biryani?

1. This biryani is only made using seeraga samba rice.
2. Green chilies and ghee are not used to make it.
3. This biryani is light on the stomach and is easily digestible, unlike the other ghee and masala-laden versions.

Can I make ambur biryani using mutton?

Yes, sure, you can. However, the cooking process will differ slightly as mutton needs much more cooking time than chicken. Check out this post to make Ambur Mutton Biryani.

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Make this delicious one-pot Tamil-Nadu Style Ambur Chicken Biryani at home using my easy recipe.
5 from 2 votes

Star Hotel Copycat Ambur Chicken Biryani Recipe

Ambur Biryani is a traditional Tamilnadu Arcot Muslim Style Biryani. It is popularly served at Star Biryani Hotel. Make this one-pot Star Hotel copycat Ambur Chicken Biryani at home using my easy recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups Seeraga Samba rice
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 3-4 cloves (laung)
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 2 whole bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chili paste
  • 1 cup thinly sliced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup whisked plain yogurt (dahi, curd)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 pound skinless bone-in chicken (500 g, cut into 1-½ inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups water
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Instructions 

  • Wash rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 4-5 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, and bay leaves and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.
  • Add onions and cook until onions turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, and chili paste, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Now add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add yogurt, and lime juice and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and mint and cook for a minute. Stir frequently while cooking.
  • Now add chicken and salt and toss it well with the masala. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups of water and stir gently.
  • Drain the water from the rice and spread the rice over the masala very gently.
  • Reduce the heat to very low.
  • Cover the pot with a tight lid and cook the biryani for 30-35 minutes or until the rice is perfectly cooked and all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the Ambur biryani using a fork.
  • Serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can replace Seeraga Samba Rice with any other non-sticky short-grain rice like Surti Kolam, Sona Masuri, etc.
If your heat doesn’t go very low, then keep a griddle (tawa) over the flame and then keep the pot over it to cook the biryani perfectly.
Add more red chili paste if you like spicer Ambur biryani.
The water and rice measurement are very important. Use standard cup measures to measure the ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 834mg, Potassium: 835mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 224IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 8mg
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