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Ambur Biryani

Ambur Biryani

Named after Ambur, a small town in Vellore (Tamil Nadu), this biryani is the most favored amongst the range of Arcot Biryanis. The specialty of this dish lies in the type of rice used, (Seeraga Samba, also known as Jeera Samba, a rice specific to Southern India), and the fact that neither the meat is marinated nor a meat tenderizer is used during cooking. Even then, as you eat it, every ingredient just melts in your mouth and brings a wave full of flavors.


For cooking

  1. Meat 1 kg goat meat, biryani cut, washed and drained
  2. 200 grams curd 1– 2
  3. Large Bay Leaves 5– 6 cloves
  4. 1 Cinnamon Stick
  5. 100 grams Garlic, minced
  6. 100 grams Ginger, grounded
  7. 4–5 Large Onions, sliced
  8. 3–4 Tomatoes, sliced
  9. 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  10. 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  11. 1 Lime (as per taste)

For par-cooking rice

  1. 1 kg Seeraga Samba rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes.

For layering the dum

  1. Coriander Leaves, chopped
  2. Mint Leaves, roughly chopped
  3. Salt, as per taste Desi Ghee, for cooking
  4. Spices may be adjusted as per taste

How to prepare Ambur Biryani?

Cook the meat
  • Heat some ghee in a Degchi (or a huge handi) and sprinkle two tablespoons of curd in it and as it starts tempering, add the bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir and add the minced garlic, ginger and onions. Fry till golden-brown and then add the tomatoes, chili powder and turmeric and let it cook.
  • After 3–4 minutes, add the mutton pieces to it and sprinkle some salt. Mix in the coriander and mint leaves. Pour some water in it and cover the lid. Cook the curry it for 30–35 minutes.

Prepare the rice

  • Boil around 2 litres of water in a large vessel and add some salt and ghee in it followed by the soaked rice. Let it boil for 6–7 minutes or till it is cooked two-thirds. Once done, drain the rice carefully and spread it over a wide, flat dish.

Layer the dum

  • Once the curry is reduced to around half to one cup, mix some lemon juice and evenly spread the par-boiled rice over it. Add a tablespoon of ghee.
  • Cook it covered on high flame for couple of minutes and then over low flame for next 10 minutes. If available put some burning pieces of coal on the lid it to give it heat from the top.
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