Ambur Chicken Biryani is a famous popular biryani from the town Ambur in Tamil Nadu. Biryani is cooked with the short grain Seeraga Samba that is aromatic on its own.
This biryani is so popular that many people travel to the town just for the biryani tasting. I am not sure since when Biryani got associated with Basmati Rice, however, in my younger years, I remember Amma using the regular Sona Masuri to make Vegetable Biryani. I have never tasted a nonveg biryani and it wasn't so common to dish out biryanis at home then.
In fact, the only nonveg biryani that I remember Amma making is this Nawabi Chicken Biryani and I must have tasted it. After blogging, I have made Nawabi Chicken biryani again and then later with a modified recipe to make this Nawabi Chicken Dum Biryani.
Even in the early '90s, the biryani concept wasn't so popular in Madras. However, the scene all changed at the beginning of 2000 and everybody became crazy about Biryanis. So naturally, the joints that were kind of famous, started promoting their stuff that finally everything reached such heights that people traveled to these places just to taste their biryani.
At one point, we saw biryani shops making biryani for midnight craving and early morning binge eating, etc. Hubby dear says the masala is addictive and that's the reason kids get so crazy about biryani. My kids are very fond of biryani and we keep trying different versions of biryani for their sake.
So here's another version adapted from a TV Show that Amma had noted in her Diary. This is for day 2 of Biryanis and Pulaos in BM#115.
Step By Step Pictures for making Ambur Chicken Biryani
Ingredients Used for making Ambur Chicken Biryani
Ambur Biryani is famous for its short-grained rice that is used for making the biryani.
Apart from the regular biryani whole spice garam masala, this biryani uses ground fresh dry red chilies.
While one can always cook the Rice separately and layer this biryani, cooking it in the same pot also gives a wonderful texture to the rice.
Just have to make sure one remembers the soaking time and the water measurement has to be at least half a cup less than actual as the liquid comes out and the dum process gets the rice cooked.
This biryani is flavoursome on its own and doesn't actually require a side dish. However, simple onion raita or the brinjal.
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Ambur Chicken Biryani
- 1/2 cup Cooking Oil
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 inch Cinnamon
- 4 Cloves
- 5 Cardamon
- 1/2 cup Onions
- 1 cup Onion paste
- 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
- 5 nos Green Chilies
- 1 big Tomato
- 1/2 cup Mint
- 1/2 cup Coriander Leaves
- 3 nos Dry Red Chili Paste
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup Curds
- 1 kg Chicken
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups Seeraga Samba Rice
- 4.5 cups Water
- Soak the dry red chilies in hot water and grind to a smooth paste.
- Finely chop half of the onions and make a paste of the remaining onions. Have slit green chillies and chopped mint and coriander leaves
- Wash and cut the chicken to bite size pieces and drain it well. Squeeze 1 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt over it and keep it aside.
- Wash and soak the rice for at least 30 mins.
- Making the Biryani
- In a wide pan, heat oil and add all the whole spices. Saute the finely chopped onions till it turns slightly brown.
- Now add the ground onion paste and saute well.
- After a couple of minute,s add the ginger garlic paste and slit green chilies.
- Cook on high flame for all the ingredients to get nicely browned.
- Add choped tomatoes and let it turn soft while you continue stirring for 4 to 5 mins.
- Next add the chopped mint and coriander leaves and mix well.
- When the herbs is well cooked, add the ground red chili paste.
- Stir well and add turmeric powder, curds, and combine well.
- The whole mixture will come together as a thick paste.
- At this stage add the chicken and toss well to coat the masala to the chicken.
- Add salt and let the water come out from the chicken. Cook on high for 10 mins.
- Add water and let it boil. Now add the drained rice and let it boil over.
- When the water is almost absorbed, simmer and cook with a lid covered.
- This takes about 15 mins on low flame, remove cover and drizzle the ghee.
- Keep it covered with lid for 10 mins before serving.