Ambur Star Chicken Biryani Recipe

Ambur Star Chicken Biryani is a delicious South Indian Biryani Recipe, in which the flavour of the chicken is predominant and the spices are rather mild. With tender pieces of meat on the bone, simple whole spices and the short grain rice-Seeraga Samba, this non-vegetarian recipe is an absolute winner.  Serve it as main course at your parties or on a Sunday afternoon for lunch.   Seeraga (Jeeraga) Samba rice, Ghee, Bay leaf (tej patta), Star anise, Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini), Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds, Cloves (Laung), Chicken, Oil, Ginger, Garlic, Onions, Tomatoes, Red Chilli powder, Salt, Coriander Powder (Dhania), Curd (Dahi / Yogurt), Mint Leaves (Pudina)   500 grams Seeraga (Jeeraga) Samba rice , washed and soaked 1 tablespoon Ghee 1 Bay leaf (tej patta) 1 Star anise 1 Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini) 2 Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds 1 clove Cloves (Laung) 500 grams Chicken , cleaned and washed 4 tablespoons Oil 2 inch Ginger , finely chopped 4 cloves Garlic , finely chopped 3 Onions , sliced 2 Tomatoes , chopped 3 teaspoons Red Chilli powder Salt , to taste 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder (Dhania) 3 tablespoons Curd (Dahi / Yogurt) 1/4 cup Mint Leaves (Pudina) , roughly torn     30   25     To begin making the Ambur Star Chicken Biryani, thoroughly wash and clean the chicken and set aside. Soak the Seeraga samba rice, for a minimum of 30 minutes.In an open pan, add ghee, bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom. To this add 2 cups of water and bring to a single boil. Add the washed and drained rice and cook until the rice is about 70% cooked.  (The rice grain should be undercooked in the center) Set aside.In a deep kadai, on medium flame, heat 4 tablespoons of oil, add the sliced onions and cook till transparent for about 5-7 minutes.At this stage mix in the ginger paste, garlic paste and salt. Saute for a couple of minutes.Mix in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft.  At this stage add in the red chilli powder and coriander seeds powder.Once the onion-tomato mixture comes together, slightly tilt the kadai, and remove the excess oil, spoon by spoon into a small cup/katori.Now that the excess oil has been drained out, add the yogurt/curd and chicken and mix well. Allow the chicken to cook until almost done to about 80%.  Mix in the mint leavesTo assemble to biryani, while the chicken continues to be in the kadai, add the 70% cooked seeraga samba rice on top of the chicken pieces and pour the excess flavoured oil over the rice and cover the kadai with a plate. Turn the flame to the lowest heat possible. In a saucepan, boil water and turn off the flame and place this hot pan on the lid of the kadai. This process is done in order to seal the kadai in which the biryani is cooking. The heat from the hot water in the saucepan provides heat from the top, while there is heat from the bottom as well creating the effect of “Dum”. Let the biryani sit on this “Dum” for a good 20 minutes. After 20 minutes open the lid and lightly fluff up the biryani with a fork and serve piping hot.Serve the Ambur Star Chicken Biryani  along with Tadka Raita Recipe (Spiced Curd With Onions) and Chettinad Kathirikai Chops Recipe for Sunday Lunch.