Thursday 6 March 2014

Ambur Chicken Biryani [Both dum and oven method]/Ambur Chicken Biryani Recipe/How to make Ambur Chicken Biryani with step by step photos

Ambur is a town in Vellore District in Tamil Nadu. It is famous for making one of the best Biryanis in South India and is seen in most of the restaurant menus. Ambur is popular not only for biryanis, but also for leather tanning. Each town, district, community, hotels have their own way of making biryani like Dindukal biryani, Chettinad Biryani, Ponnusamy biryani, Anjapper biryani, Salem biryani etc. Though we try and taste different biryanis our search for it never ends. I have had Ambur Biryani back in Chennai several times and I just love it. This is Chef Dhamodharan's Ambur Chicken Biryani  with little changes. I have made this several times but I never get a chance to get the clicks. But this Sunday I made sure I could get as many pictures as possible to share it with you all. Also check out other interesting and mouthwatering Chicken Varuvals/Fry/Biryanis/Gravies etc hereMutton/goat Meat Recipes,Fish & Egg Recipes

Here’s how to make Ambur Chicken Biryani with step by step photos…

500 gm
Basmati rice
3 cups
2 finely chopped
Green chillies
4 slit lengthwise
1 big/2  small finely chopped
½ cup
Ginger & garlic paste
1 tbsp
Red chilli powder
1 ½ tsp
Lemon juice
1 tbsp [from half lemon]
Mint & Coriander leaves
One handful
As needed

For Marinating the Chicken
½ cup
Red chilli powder
1 ½ tsp
Coriander powder
1 tsp
Turmeric powder
¼ tsp
Ginger & garlic paste
1 ½ tbsp.
As needed

For Tempering
Cinnamon sticks
Bay leaves
Star anise
Fennel seeds/Perunjeeragam
1 tsp
3 tbsp
1 tsp
Preparation time: 20 minutes                             Recipe Category: Main Course
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes                               Recipe Cuisine: Tamil Nadu/South India
Serves: 4-6
Author: Priya Anandakumar 

Also check out other interesting and mouthwatering Chicken Varuvals/Fry/Biryanis/Gravies etc hereMutton/goat Meat Recipes,Fish & Egg Recipes

To make Chicken Masala
Wash, cut and clean the chicken thoroughly. Finally add the turmeric powder and wash it to get rid of any smell.

Now add all the ingredients mentioned under “marinate” to the chicken and mix really well. Marinate the chicken for at least 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil+ghee in heavy bottomed vessel, add the ingredients mentioned under tempering and fry until nice aroma arises.

Add 2 tbsp of yogurt and ginger garlic paste and saute for about a minute.

Now add the marinated chicken and mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Do not add any water.

Add the onion and green chillies, stir everything well and cook for about 2 minutes.

Now add the tomatoes, mint, cilantro and mix everything well, wait until the tomatoes turn mushy.

Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and the remaining yogurt.

Mix everything well and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the chicken is well cooked and it turns into masala consistency. Now switch off the stove. Finally add the lemon juice and stir everything well.

To Cook the Rice:

Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15-20 minutes and then drain the water. Boil enough water to cook the rice. When the water comes to rolling boil add the basmati rice, salt, 1 tsp of oil and let it cook. [I added cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves to the water, this is totally optional].

When the rice is ½ cooked, switch off the stove and drain the water. Transfer the rice to a plate and keep it aside.

To Layer the Biryani:

 Apply one tsp of oi/ghee in a heavy bottomed pan/vessel. Start layering by dividing rice to 3 parts and cooked chicken to 2 portions. Spread a layer of chicken masala, and sprinkle some cilantro and mint. Next spread a layer of half cooked basmati rice. Similarly alternate chicken masala and rice and finish off the last layer with rice.

Finally sprinkle cilantro and pinch of edible red colour mixed with 1 tsp of water.

Dum Process for Biryani:

On Stove Top

Heat a tawa in the stove and place the vessel [in which chicken & rice is layered] and cover it tightly with a lid. Cook in low flame for about 15 – 20 minutes. If you have anything heavy like a stone or bowl of water, keep it on the lid so that the heat will not escape.

Delicious Ambur Chicken Biryani is ready to be enjoyed. Serve it hot with onion raita, boiled eggs, biryani kathrikkai, chicken gravy or any other raita of your choice.

In the oven
Alternatively you can cook the biryani in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F for 10 minutes.

Now keep the vessel [in which chicken & rice is layered] into the oven and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Make sure the vessel is oven safe. Pull out the vessel at 12 minutes to check if it is cooked.

  • Adjust the salt and red chilli powder according to your taste.
  • When making the rice, I have added ½ tsp of oil, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom 2 each along with salt. This is totally optional; you can skip it and cook the rice just with salt and ½ tsp of oil.
  • Always have an old tawa just for dum process, so that you can use it only for dum each time.

Thank you all for visiting my site, please come back again for more authentic and traditional dishes of Tamil Nadu.

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Until then I am signing off…


  1. tempting birynai n love both versions dear!!!

  2. Very inviting and lovely........feels to take portion of it :)

  3. Mouthwatering chicken biryani, Priya. I always wanted to try this and now I will follow your recipe to make it.

  4. Ambur chicken biriyani looks delicious

  5. It looks very yumm sis :)
    Liebster Award is waiting for u in my space, pls come and collect :)

  6. Perfectly made biriyani!!!

  7. looks super tempting..droolworthy biryani dear....

  8. Biriyani looks so yummy...mouthwatering....

  9. Ohhh the look of it is so mouthwatering ... I am sure u guys might have enjoyed it

  10. Seriously i want a plate of this droolworthy biryani...just cant take my eyes from ur plate..

  11. it looks so delicious...I always like biriyani

  12. looks sooo the varieties of biryani!!

  13. May I come to your place Priya? Super inviting and fabulous chicken biryani.

  14. Me and guys are preparing this right now. Dhumming in oven in progress..


Hello everybody,
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Priya Anandakumar