Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ambur Chicken Biriyani/Dum Biriyani (Sunday Special)

This is a very HOT post.Most of my friends had been asking me to post a non-veg biriyani recipe.I was lazy enough to cook the biriyani...I cooked it this morning and just loved the way it had turned out.I could not resist from posting the recipe.I didn't take any special efforts too to bring in some props for the photo session.I felt Biriyani itself is special and it doesn't need extra photo buildups!;-)
Briyani-s are always special.S and Y's  school is closed for winter vacation till Pongal.It's always nice to spend time with kids.Today we had invited newly married couple to our home for lunch .Since it was vacation I thought of serving them an elaborate lunch and also I had ample time at preparing the dishes!!
I was breaking up my small brain for the menu list!!Atlast I thought of making chicken biriyani..There are various styles of preparing the biriyani.Being a native of vellore which is few km from Ambur...I am great fan of Ambur biriyani..Star Biriyani Hotel at Ambur serves very delicious biriyani.There are slight additions and deletions that has to be done when compared to the pressure cooked biriyani.
I googled for the ambur biriyani and got a video which described the preparation of the biriyani.I just followed it ..The recipe is explained by the owner of the star Biriyani Hotel-Ambur.
They had explained for mutton.As my kids don't take mutton I had replaced it with chicken.
Usage of Seeraga Samba Rice (Instead of basmathi-which is slow in digestion),lower spice quantity ,no green chillies  is the speciality of this Ambur biriyani.It doesn't cause any indigestion problems!!
For the recipe please press READ MORE

Preparation Time-30-40 minutes
Cooking time-30 minutes
1 Cup of Seeraga Samba Rice (Soaked for 15-20 minutes)
2 nos of big onions sliced lengthwise
1 no. of big  ripen tomato(chopped finely)
1/2 kg of Chicken(Deskinned)
1 Tbsp of Ginger garlic paste(Heaped)
1 Tbsp of thick Yogurt (Curd)
1 Tbsp of lime juice
2 Tbsp of red chilli powder(Unheaped)
Handful of Mint and coriander leaves put together
Salt as required
To Temper:
2 Tbsp of Oil
1 Tsp of ghee(Clarified butter)
3 nos of cloves
1 inch of cinnamon stick
2 nos of Cardamom
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp of Saunf
To Garnish:
Fried onions (Optional)
Recipe Source:
 From the chef at Star Biriyani Hotel,Ambur
Take 2 and a 1/2 cups of water in a pan and bring it to boil.
Take another heavy bottomed pan.
Heat the pan with the water and pan with the oil simultaneously.
Chop the vegetables and keep it ready.
Add oil and ghee to the pan and after it gets heated add items mentioned in "to Temper" list.Saute it nicely
Then add ginger garlic paste and saute it.Don't burn it.
In the video before adding Ginger garlic paste they had added a drop of curd to make the oil purify.I had skipped this step.
Then add cleaned and washed chicken.Saute it finely
Then add red chilli powder(I had used home grinded red chilli powder.I avoid getting it in readymade packets as I am scared of the unwanted additives used in it)
Saute it nicely
Then add onions,tomatoes and finally washed and chopped coriander and mint leaves.Saute it well till the tomatoes gets smashed well.
Then add yogurt(Curd),squeeze the lemon  and mix it well.Addition of curd will make the chicken soft.
Lime juice is added to make the rice grains gets separated from each other.The rice grains don't get stuck.Lime juice addition will also give a glossy look for the biriyani.
Add required amount of salt for the chicken gravy mixture.Mix well.
Close the lid and cook it for 5 minutes.

Add 1/4 Cup of hot water and mix well.Close the lid.Don't allow the vapours to escape.This will give a nice flavour to the rice.Allow it to heat till the chicken gets cooked and the gravy becomes thick.
In the mean while take a thick iron Dosa tava and heat it till smoke comes.Then reduce the flame to sim.
Simultaneously the following steps need to happen.
By this time water would have got boiled.
To it add the soaked and drained seeraga samba rice and allow it to cook.
Add the salt required for the rice alone
Cook the  rice till it is half cooked.For me it took 5-8 minutes after adding rice to  boiling water(I kept the flame in  high position).The size of the rice would have bulged but if we break it, it should be uncooked inside.This is the stage at which we need to drain off the water.
When the rice is half way through cooked drain the water.
Add the half cooked rice to the chicken gravy in the pan.Mix well without breaking the rice grains.

After the chicken is cooked and the gravy becomes little thick,the half cooked rice is added to it.Now take off from the flame and keep it on the hot dosa tava which is being heated in very low flame.
Traditionally Dum is applied by putting off the flame and the mixture gets heated by the hot coal.Hot coal is also spread on the plate to make the upper layer cooked.
As I could not do it at home I closed the pan with the lid.Then took tumblers filled with  very hot water.Closed it to make the heat retain.
I cooked with this set up at very low flame for 15 minutes.
While serving garnish it with fried onions.
Serve it with Onion Raita.
Even though it is time consuming the taste is incomparable.When u had learnt this method , u will never have it at ambur hotels even at Star hotel..This tastes similar(of course tastier than the ones sold there) to that of the one made at ambur with lesser amount of oil when compared to the ones used at hotels!!
Make this and give ur a guest a surprise!!
My guest was very much impressed by the taste and she had become a fan of it!!I was so happy that it had come out so well.
Handy Tips:
  • Taste can be enhanced by adding kal uppu instead of Thool uppu
  • The amount of tomatoes should always be lesser than that of the onions.Or else it will end up at making tomato rice!!
  • Usage of seeraga samba rice ,non-usage of green chillies gives no gastric problem.
  • Don't add turmeric powder.
  • Red Chilli powder is plain chilli powder.Add it according to the spicyness u need.
  • Marinate the chicken with curd for 30 minutes to make it soft and tender
  • Don't temper it with too much of spices.
  • See to it that the chicken gravy gets little thickened.Don't add the rice when there is lots of water in the chicken gravy
  • Ginger garlic paste is Ginger and garlic in equal proportion by weight
  • Instead of tumblers that were used for dum we can also use another pan filled with hot water to keep it on the top.
  • The lid can also be sealed by wheat dough.
  • Care should be taken such that we don't break the rice grains by over mixing/stirring
  • Let the tomatoes get smashed well before the rice is being added
  • Add salt separately for the rice and also for the gravy.
  • Don't skip off the addition of lemon juice.It gives a nice texture to the rice
  • I added small pieces of chicken.the size can be varied according to your taste
  • In a similiar way mutton biriyani can be done.But see to it that the mutton is tender and it takes little more time than chicken to get cooked.
Please try it out and let me know how it tasted!!


  1. wow..chicken biriyani looks mouthwatering,Amuds:)
    First time to your fab space,happy to join too:)
    Do drop by mine when u find time :)
    Join EP event-Nutmeg OR Parsley @ Chef Mireille's Global Creations

    1. Tk u for passing by my space Julie..

  2. Really wowwww :-) :-) :-) I tried it out today and it came out so well :-) :-) my husband got much impressed . Thanks for such a nice recipe amuds