South India is a hub of versatile flavors and recipes and this Ambur biryani or Ambur star biryani is a great example of that. Now you might think, ‘What is Ambur biryani? And why is it so special?’ Well, while there are many varieties of biryani to try, this recipe is truly unique. This delicious Ambur biryani uses seeraga samba rice instead of long grain rice and relies on red chili paste instead of other masalas for spice. The result is a rich, flavorful biryani with a distinct melt-in-your-mouth texture, which will make you an instant fan.
Ambur is a small town in Tamil Nadu where Star biryani hotel is located. Ambur chicken biryani recipe was made famous by the Star hotel. It became so popular that people from all over India fell in love with it and started coming to Ambur town for this famous Ambur biryani. It is different from Hyderabadi biryani and other biryani recipes because it uses a local variety of short-grain rice called jeeraga samba rice. This biryani was a close relative of Arcot biryani, which was developed in a nearby town as the Nawabs of Arcot had close ties with Hyderabadi Nizams. Hussain Baig, a cook who worked in Mughal kitchens, developed the Arcot biryani into an absolute masterpiece of culinary art. However, Star Ambur Biryani Hotel started selling this same recipe to the masses, and the world fell in love with Ambur Star Biryani.
So, are you ready to make this royal biryani? Let’s do it.
Ingredients For Ambur Biryani
Dry red chilies, whole garam masala (cumin seeds, black peppercorn, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves), turmeric, garam masala powder and salt are the spices that you need for this recipe.
Spices are the heart of Indian cuisine, and in this recipe, they add depth and complexity of flavor to the dish. The dry red chilies add a mild to medium level of heat, while the whole garam masala infuses the biryani with warm and aromatic flavors. Turmeric adds color and warmth, and garam masala powder adds an extra layer of complexity. Salt enhances the overall taste of the dish.
The choice of rice is crucial in biryani, as it adds texture to the dish. Samba rice is a short-grain rice variety that is famous for its ability to absorb flavors and aromas well. The short-grain rice also provides a soft and sticky texture to the biryani, making it easier to eat with the chicken. It is also used in some other South Indian recipes like Thalakapattu biryani.
The chicken in this recipe is the main source of protein and provides a savory flavor to the dish. Using bone-in chicken adds more depth to the flavor and also adds gelatin to the dish, which adds richness to the biryani.
Oil helps in sautéing the onions and spices. The choice of oil can vary, but it should be an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil.
Onions add sweetness and depth to the dish. The sliced onions are sautéed in oil until caramelized and golden brown, adding a subtle sweetness and umami flavor to the dish.
Ginger and garlic paste
Ginger and garlic paste are add a pungent aroma and flavor. They provide a strong and sharp taste to the dish, which adds complexity and depth to the overall flavor.
Tomatoes add acidity and sweetness, which helps to balance the overall flavor of the dish. They also add a slight tanginess and depth to the biryani.
Yogurt lends a creamy texture and tangy flavor to this biryani. It helps to tenderize the chicken and also balances the flavors of the spices.
Coriander leaves act as a garnish for the biryani, adding a fresh and herbaceous flavor and aroma to the dish.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is popular in Indian cuisine for its rich and nutty flavor. Add it at the end of the cooking process to enhance the overall aroma and flavor of the biryani.
Step By Step Recipe For Ambur Biryani
First, soak 20 dry red chilies in hot water for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, drain the water and grind the chilies into a paste with a little water. Set aside.
Next, rinse 2 cups of samba rice or any short-grain rice in water and drain.
In a deep pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil and add the whole garam masala (1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp black peppercorn, 3-4 cardamom, 2-3 cloves, a stick of cinnamon, 1-star anise, 2 bay leaves). Fry for a few seconds until the spices become fragrant.
Next, add 2 large sliced onions and fry until they become lightly golden brown.
After that, add 2 tbsp of ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute.
Then, add 2 chopped large tomatoes, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp garam masala powder, and salt to taste. Stir well and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
Next, add the red chili paste prepared earlier and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
Then, add 2 lb chicken pieces (bone-in) to the pan and coat them with the spice mixture. Cover and cook for 10 to 20 minutes on low heat until the chicken is tender.
Once the chicken is tender, add a bunch of fresh coriander leaves and mix well. Set aside.
In a separate pot, boil the rice until it is 90% cooked. Drain the rice and spread it over the prepared chicken in the deep pan.
Slightly mix the rice with the chicken and add 2-3 tbsp of ghee on top.
Cover the pan with foil and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice is fluffy.
Finally, once the biryani is cooked, open the lid and carefully invert the rice. Serve hot and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Enjoy!
When it comes to serving Ambur Biryani, there are several options you can consider. First, serve the biryani hot straight out of the pot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves. This not only adds a pop of color to the dish but also enhances the flavor and aroma. Additionally, you can serve it with a side of raita, which is a yogurt-based side dish that helps balance out the flavors of the biryani. Some people like to serve the biryani with a wedge of lemon, which you can squeeze over the rice to add a tangy flavor. You can also serve the biryani with a chicken curry or a simple cucumber and tomato salad, which provides a refreshing contrast to the spicy flavors of the dish. Finally, make sure to serve the biryani in generous portions, as it is a hearty and filling dish that you share with friends and family.
When it comes to storing Ambur Biryani, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure to let the biryani cool down to room temperature before storing it, as storing hot food can lead to bacterial growth. Once the biryani has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container to prevent moisture from entering and spoiling the dish. Additionally, it is important to store the biryani in the refrigerator, as leaving it at room temperature for extended periods can lead to foodborne illnesses. Make sure to consume the biryani within 2-3 days of storing it, as the longer it sits in the fridge, the more its texture and flavor can change.
Ambur Biryani is famous for its unique flavor and aroma, which comes from the use of a special spice blend and the cooking technique. The biryani is cooked in a traditional dum style, where the meat is layered with rice and slow-cooked in a sealed pot over low heat. The use of seeraga samba rice, a short-grain variety, adds to the distinct texture of the biryani.
Ambur Biryani is different from other types of biryani due to its unique spice blend and cooking technique. The use of dry red chilies, whole garam masala, and seeraga samba rice are some of the key ingredients that set Ambur Biryani apart. Additionally, the biryani is traditionally served with a spicy brinjal curry and raita.
Hyderabadi Biryani is known for its rich and spicy flavor, with the use of a variety of spices, saffron, and fried onions. On the other hand, Ambur Biryani has a more subtle flavor profile, with a focus on the natural flavors of the meat and the spices. Additionally, while Hyderabadi Biryani is typically made with long-grain Basmati rice, Ambur Biryani uses the short-grain seeraga samba rice.
The origins of Ambur Biryani are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the town of Ambur in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is said to have been created by the local Nawabs, who were known for their culinary skills and love for biryani.
Ambur Biryani is from the town of Ambur in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is a popular dish in the region and is also known as Vaniyambadi Biryani.
There is no one king of all biryanis, as different types of biryanis have their own unique flavor and style. However, Hyderabadi Biryani is often considered to be one of the most popular and well-known types of biryani in India.
The tastiest biryani is subjective and varies from person to person. Some popular types of biryanis include Hyderabadi Biryani, Lucknowi Biryani, Kolkata Biryani, and of course, Ambur Biryani.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
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