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Biriyani tops any food lover’s list of favourite dishes, and it’s more than just comfort food. Many states in India have their own style of preparation but the biriyanis of Tamil Nadu are absolutely drool-worthy, enticing people with a melange of tempting flavours.

Biriyani lovers can find their haven in Tamil Nadu with its scrumptious varieties of non-vegetarian biriyanis. While cooking a biriyani in Tamil Nadu, the rice is cooked along with the chicken and not precooked, unlike in other states. This ensures that the spicy flavours generously seeped in. 

There are four types of biriyanis in Tamil Nadu.

Ambur Biriyani
The legendary Ambur biriyani hails from the small town of Ambur in Vellore district. It stands apart as its flavour is enhanced with coriander, mint and curd.

The secret recipe of Ambur biriyanis is said to have been developed by Hussain Baig who was a cook in the kitchen of the Nawab of Arcot. The taste soon found a place in the hearts of people, and became popular with fans around the state. What started as a small establishment turned into a successful, massive brand a century later. 

The spice levels of Ambur style biriyani is milder than the rest and is made with jeera rice and mutton accompanied by brinjal curry and cucumber raita. The special variety rice used is called Seeraga samba. 

The Ambur star biriyani, as it is now called, is successfully run by the descendants of Hussain Baig.

Dindigul Biriyani 
The city synonymous with its brand of biriyani, Dindigul enjoys a place in the hearts of all biriyani lovers with its matchless taste. Tamil Nadu’s Biriyani city is also known for its unique security lock known as ‘Dindigul Pootu’ which has secured for the city a GI tag. 

The oldest biriyani restaurant in Thalapakatti was established in 1957 where the combination of heady taste and aroma is said to have been achieved by a meticulous selection of ingredients. 

The Dindigul biriyani tastes different from Chettinad and Hyderabadi biriyanis because of its sour taste. It has also been said that the water used in its preparation plays as much significance as any other spice. The water from Kamarajar lake in Athur is said to enhance the flavour of Dindigul biriyani. 

The ingredients that make the biriyani taste otherworldly are the Jeera samba rice (also known as ‘Parakkum sittu’ chosen by Nagaswamy Naidu who founded the brand), pepper and green chilli. 

The use of star anise, mace powder and cloves to make the mutton recipe elevates the taste quotient to new levels. 

Rawther Biriyani
The delectable Dum biriyani is a favourite among foodies around the globe. Rawther biriyani is a special type of Dum biriyani introduced by the Rawther Muslim community. It is popular in Palakkad district in Kerala and Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu. 

The lip-smacking Rawther biriyani is high on spices and is commonly prepared using mutton. 

This succulent biriyani is red in colour owing to its ample use of tomatoes and Kashmiri red chilli powder. There is an aromatic variety of short grain rice called Jeerakasala rice used for making the biriyani bringing a refined taste to the dish. 

The special Rawther biriyani is made during celebrations and weddings and is consumed with a special side dish known as Kaicher. 

Chettinad Biriyani 
As Chettinad cuisine claims, the dishes from this land will please the gourmet in you with the most relishing flavours. 

Chettinad biriyani can be made in one pot without much hassle, which is just as spicy and flavourful as the other Dum biriyanis. 

The biriyani masala used is different in the Chettinad style and the rice used is jeeraka samba. Nenju elumbu kuzhambu, a tangy goat meat gravy is said to be the best combo that any foodie would vouch for. The biriyani is topped with fried onions and curry leaves, and is sometimes combined with coconut milk which brings in a remarkable flavour.

Flavours of Tamil Nadu

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