Dindigul Biryani: The History Of This Unique Regional Dish
Image Credit: Unsplash

Biryani is widely popular across all states of India, and it has now made its name in other parts of the world as well. Just like there are diverse cultures in India, each region has its own twist when it comes to making Biryani. Even though Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular biryanis in the market, there’s another type that is gaining more and more attention each day – Dindigul Biryani.

Dindigul biryani is a South Indian delight that got its name from a small town called Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. The savoury dish is made with unique ingredients and comes with an interesting tale of the past. This article has everything you should know before you dig into the delicious Dindigul biryani.

The Origins

The story behind the origination of Dindigul Biryani dates back to 1975 when a man named Nagasamy Naidu started a restaurant named Anandha Vilas. His menu revolved around his wife’s beloved biryani recipe that was made with Seerega Samba rice instead of Basmati rice, which is more often used in Northern India. 

As word of Naidu's culinary magic spread, his biryani attracted biryani enthusiasts even from outside the town. Everyone loved the flavour of the rice, the luscious meat, and the aftertaste that they could savour even after eating a plateful. Later, in 1978, Naidu’s son M.A.M. Muthu renamed the restaurant "Dindigul Thalappakatti," adding a regional value to the biryani and making it a must-visit site for everyone who was visiting the town.

The success story of Dindigul biryani didn’t stop here. With Muthu taking it to a new level,  Thalappakatti became a brand and started to expand massively. As of now, there are many restaurants that serve the traditional biryani and are spread all across India. Even some franchises outside the subcontinent of India celebrate the dish with their regional-specific menus and are creating a history based on Naidu’s original recipe.

Dindigul biryani is one of its own kind, and it is one of the favourites of South Indians for a reason. What makes it different is the fact that, unlike the spicy flavour of other biryanis, Dindigul biryani has a subtle flavour of cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg. Most importantly, using Seeraga Samba rice makes the texture of this biryani completely different from Northern biryanis. If you want to get a taste of Dindigul biryani, you can try making it with this easy recipe described in the next section.


For the Biryani Masala:

  1. Cinnamon sticks: 3
  2. Green cardamom pods: 8
  3. Cloves: 5
  4. Star anise: 2
  5. Kalpasi (Stone Flower): 1 tsp
  6. Black peppercorns: 1 tsp

For the Rice and Flavour Base:

  1. Seeraga Samba rice: 500 grams
  2. Ghee: 3 tbsp
  3. Groundnut oil: 3 tbsp
  4. Bay leaves: 2
  5. Onion: 3, thinly sliced
  6. Green chillies: 2, slit lengthwise
  7. Coriander leaves: 1/4 cup, chopped
  8. Mint leaves: 1/4 cup, chopped
  9. Tomatoes: 2, finely chopped
  10. Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
  11. Curd: 3/4 cup
  12. Salt: 1 tbsp
  13. Water: 750 ml

For the Chicken:

  1. Chicken: 1 kg


1. Rinse and soak Seerega Samba rice for about half an hour and start making the biryani mix.

2. Take all the dry ingredients and grind them together.

3. Make a uniform ginger garlic paste by grinding them with a little water.

4. Take a pan and heat ghee and groundnut oil on medium flame. Add bay leaves and onions and cook till they turn golden brown.

5. Add in the ground dry ingredients along with the freshly prepared ginger garlic paste.

6. Chop tomatoes and add them to the pot and cook till they are tender.

7. Marinate the chicken pieces with curd and coat them in the dry spices.

8. Cook the pieces for ten minutes on low to medium flame.

9. Add the soaked rice to the biryani masala you just prepared and add water.

10. After the rice is cooked, garnish with ghee and serve it with raita.