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Ambur Biryani: Tamil Style Recipe

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Biryani is the king of all Indian foods and it was patronised by Royalty too. The best biryani recipes in India originated in the royal kitchens of Sultans and Nawabs. The Ambur biryani for example developed under the reign of Nawab of Arcot. Ambur biryani is a Tamil variety of biryani. However the recipe of this biryani is different from the Chettinad biryani.

It is milder in taste and texture as compared to other South Indian biryani recipes. You need a wide variety of spices to make authentic Ambur biryani and all these spices have to be blended to perfection.

If you are looking for a rich and traditional Sunday's lunch, then this Tamil-style biryani will serve the purpose perfectly. The recipe that we have given here is a recipe for preparing mutton biryani. You can use the same procedure for chicken as well.

Ambur Biryani: Tamil Style Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients For Marinade

  • Coriander powder ; 1/2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Garam masala Powder : 1tbsp
  • Yogurt : 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger and Garlic paste : 1/2 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice : 2tsp


  • Mutton- ½ kg
  • Basmati rice- 3 cups
  • Onion-1
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1tbsp
  • Tomato- 1
  • Mint leaves- 1 sprig (chopped)
  • Coriander leaves- 1 sprig (chopped)
  • Red chilli powder- 1tsp
  • Coriander power- 1tsp
  • Cloves- 5
  • Cardamom pod- 4
  • Cinnamon stick- 1 inch
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Fennel seeds- 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1tsp
  • Green Chillies- 3
  • Garlic pods- 4
  • Cashew nuts- 10
  • Ghee- 1tbp
  • Oil- 2tbsp
  • Salt- as per taste


  • Marinate the mutton with all the ingredients of the marinade for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile make a paste of garlic, green chillies, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and cashew nuts and keep aside.
  • Heat oil and add the marinated mutton to it. Stir and cook for 5-7 minutes. Pressure cook the mutton with 3 cups of water for the duration of 3 whistles.
  • After that, heat oil in a pan. Season it with all the whole spices namely; cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaves, star anise and cardamom pods.
  • After a minute, add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes on a low flame. Then add ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and sprinkle salt from the top. Cook for 5-6 minutes on low flame.
  • Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder and the paste you made with fennel seeds into the pan.
  • Pour the cooked mutton into this pan and cook it for around 6-8 minutes on low flame.
  • Meanwhile heat ghee in another pan. Fry the basmati rice in it for 2 minutes and then sprinkle the chopped coriander and mint leaves over it.
  • Transfer the cooked mutton gravy and the fried rice into the pressure cooker. Cook for the duration of 2 whistles.

Ambur biryani is served with a curry of pickled brinjal (eggplant) and onion raita.

Story first published: Sunday, December 2, 2012, 11:20 [IST]
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