Tamil-Style Ambur Biryani Trail In Chennai

By Devi Poojari

Ambur-style Biryani is a flavoursome South Indian rice delicacy variant originates from Ambur, a town in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Known for its unique taste and preparation method, the Biryani uses seeraga samba – a short-grain variety known for its aroma and ability to absorb flavours well. Check out this food trail to visit the best places across Chennai for Ambur Biryani.

*Some restaurants listed in this trail serve non-vegetarian food, but have been added because they have good vegetarian options on their menu as well.

  • Ambur Star Biryani

    The iconic biryani establishment franchise in Chennai comes highly recommended as the go-to spot for the most authentic Ambur biryani experience. He recommends getting a portion of the mutton biryani that has the most melt-in-your-mouth delicious meat, the chicken biryani for those who prefer a mildly spicy option and the crispy crab lollipops as an accompaniment to the meal.
  • Akbar Mess

    This Chennai food blogger collective swear by the delicious plates of the Ambur chicken biryani which is also topped off with a few pieces of chicken 65 for an extra-delicious meal. Unlike most biryani places that use short grain variety of rice, Akbar Mess uses a longer grain for their biryani, enhancing the heady aroma and flavour even more.
  • Master Biryani

    What he considers to be among one of the top three places around Chennai to enjoy the best biryani, the 25-year old biryani establishment also serves biryani by the bucketful for large groups of people. The Ambur-style chicken biryani that also comes with a hard boiled egg, is best enjoyed hot off of the banana leaf and also offers a flavoursome mutton option for those who prefer red meat.

  • Arcot Biryani

    High on flavour and spice, the chicken biryani at Arcot comes with an assortment of sides – sliced onions coated in yoghurt, a spicy, pepper-loaded gravy on the side and the signature hard boiled egg that is a regular feature in most biryani plates across Chennai. For the faint-hearted, Arcot also serves up a mild yet aromatic kushka– which is a plain biryani devoid of vegetables or meat.

  • 555 Biryani

    What makes 555’s Ambur biryani special is the flexibility and affordability of its portions – craving biryani but don’t have much of an appetite? Buy a quarter portion that serves one. Sharing a meal with a friend? Get a half portion, along with their juicy liver fry or liver 65 for the complete and authentic Chennai-style biryani experience.
  • Thanjai Veeraswamy

    For an authentic seeraga samba biryani meal, make your way to Thanjai Veeraswamy in the bustling T Nagar locality of Chennai. Served with an onion raita and a flavourful brinjal thokku, this biryani portion is ideal for one and loaded with chunks of mutton marinated in a fiery blend of spices, giving the biryani a deep red tone.
  • Royal Biryani

    A non-descript biryani shop located in a breezy part of the city, Royal Biryani serves up the rice delicacy from large aluminium handis or pots, until stocks last. Giving the classic seeraga samba the ditch and opting to use high quality basmati rice for their recipe, the biryani shop is also known for their mutton pepper masala and fish 65.
  • Subham Biryani

    For a biryani meal where tender meat just falls off the bone, head to Subham Biryani – a restaurant that is slowly rising to fame for its delicious chicken and mutton biryanis. With a unique way of piling on the biryani similar to a wall formation on serving plates, the fragrant and robustly flavoured biryani can be enjoyed with a side of coal-smoked tandoori chicken or boneless chicken kebabs – all washed down with a goli soda.
  • Ambur Canteen

    As is evident from the name, the restaurant is famous for their Ambur mutton biryani that comes with a hard-boiled egg. Along with this, Sushmita also insists that visiting customers must order their ‘Guest House Prawns’, chicken cutlet and mutton shammi. Time to loosen up the strings in your pants and feast like no other! End the meal with a glass of cold rose milk.
  • Special Mention

    Rahamaniya Biryani Hotel – Recommended by Aksshay (@eatwithaksshay)
  • Rahamaniya Biryani Hotel

    Nothing quite beats an authentic meal experience than tracing back to the place where it all began – Ambur. The 100-year old Rahamaniya hotel has been serving heapfuls of the true-blue short grain mutton biryani to patrons who drive from various parts of the state just to get a taste of the ‘legendary recipe’ that defines the iconic tourist attraction. The predecessor to Star Biryani, Rahamaniya also serves an addictive nattu kozhi biryani for non-red meat eaters.
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