Make this delicious one-pot Tamil-Nadu Style Ambur Chicken Biryani at home using my easy recipe (gluten-free).
About This Recipe
Ambur Chicken Biryani is a popular South Indian Biryani (Tamil-Nadu Style) prepared with a special variety of short grain rice called Seeraga Samba rice, chicken, fresh herbs, and spices.
This delicious biryani comes from Ambur, a small town in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, and was first cooked by Nawabs of Arcot during the 18th century.
My recipe to make Ambur Biryani tastes exactly like the popular “Star Ambur Biryani” outlets that are very popular all over South India.
Traditionally, it was slow-cooked on wood fire using the dum technique, but my easy recipe shows you how to make it in a pot over the stovetop.
You can double or triple this Ambur biryani recipe if making for a bigger crowd.
Rice – It uses a special variety of short grain rice, Seeraga Samba Rice (Jeeraga Samba Rice) which makes it different from other biryani recipes.
You can replace Seeraga Samba Rice with any other non-sticky short-grain rice like Surti Kolam, Sona Masuri, etc.
Chicken – Use skinless bone-in chicken pieces for the best flavor.
Red Chilli Paste – Prepared with dried red chilies, this ingredient makes a lot of difference in the taste of the biryani and is also one of the key ingredients for the traditional taste. So do not miss this one!
I make my own Red Chili Paste at home but you can buy a bottle as well.
Whole Spices – You will need a few whole spices such as cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms, and bay leaves.
Fresh Herbs – Fresh herbs like cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and mint leaves add a refreshing flavor.
Others – You will also need onions, vegetable oil, plain yogurt (dahi, curd), ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, 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 vegetable oil in a heavy bottom large pot over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add 1-inch piece of cinnamon, 3-4 cloves, 2-3 green cardamoms, and 2 bay leaves and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.
Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions and fry until onions turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.
Add 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, and 1 tablespoon red chili paste, and fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Now add 1 cup thinly sliced tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add ¼ cup of whisked plain yogurt, and 1 teaspoon lime juice and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon chopped mint and cook for a minute. Stir frequently while cooking.
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.
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 biryani using a fork.
Ambur Biryani is traditionally served with brinjal curry, onion or cucumber raita, and fried papad on the side.
Ambur Chicken Biryani can be stored in an air-tight container for 3-4 days, in the refrigerator.
Reheat it in a pan or microwave until nice and hot, while serving. Sprinkle a little water on top, if you feel the rice has become dry after refrigeration.
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Tamil Nadu Style Ambur Chicken Biryani Recipe
- 2 cups Seeraga Samba rice (or any other short-grain non-sticky rice)
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 2-3 whole green cardamoms
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 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 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
- 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 fry until onions turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.
- Add ginger garlic paste, and chili paste, and fry 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 biryani using a fork.
- Serve hot.