Authentic Recipes from the Kitchens of Shriya, Nithu & Arthi!

Ambur Mutton Biryani


I know we posted a lot of Diwali sweets and savories recipes but what is Diwali without some idlies, mutton gravy and briyani, right? (Veg fans – we love sambar and chutney equally with Idlies. ūüôā )

My mother-in-law surprised us with this easy-to-make yet heavenly delicious Mutton briyani!

Ambur is a town in Tamilnadu and is really famous for their spicy dum briyani. Here is a blurb from Wikipedia

Ambur Biriyani is one of the famous biriyani recipes of South India which emerged during the¬†Nawab of Arcot’s regime. Prepared mainly in¬†Basmati¬†Variety of rice, both chicken and Mutton are used for this. A full plate of Biriyani with Brinjal curry¬†(Khattay Baigan or Yennai Kathrika)¬†and Onion Raitha¬†(Vengayam Pachidi)¬†makes our feast a delightful one. Such is its very delicious taste, which makes many thousands of passers by in this¬†Golden Quadrilateral¬†track of Chennai-Bengaluru highway to taste it. Apart from this,¬†Pakaathee¬†(Biriyani cooks, as known in this region), are the people who indulge in large scale biriyani preparation and are hired to many places of South India for Biriyani preparation.

I had Ambur briyani for the first time last year during my trip home and I became a big fan of it. I have been wanting to try this at home and we finally made it for Diwali and it turned out really nice. In fact, we took shortcuts with the electric cooker but it still came out tasting really great!

Preparation Time : 60 minutes
No of servings : 3-4
Spice level : 3 out of 5


  • Mutton : 1/2 kg (500gms)
  • Basmati Rice : 21/2 cups (You can use Zeeraga samba rice instead of basmati )
  • Oil : 1/4 cup
  • Onion : 1 (large)
  • Tomatoes : 2
  • Ginger and Garlic Paste : 1tbsp
  • Mint and Coriander Leaves : 1 cup (chopped)
  • Red Chili Powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee : 1/4 cup
  • Salt to taste

For marinade : 

  • Coriander powder ; 1/2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Garam masala Powder : 1 tbsp
  • Yogurt : 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger and Garlic paste : 1/2 tbsp
  • lemon Juice : 2 tsp

Whole spices :

  • Cloves : 3
  • Cardamom : 3
  • Bay Leaves: 2
  • Cinnamon stick : 1 “
  • Star Aniseed : 2

To Grind :

  • Cashews : 10
  • Fennel seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds : 1/4 tsp
  • Green Chili : 2
  • Garlic : 3

Method Of Preparation : 

  1. Marinate the mutton with the ingredients listed under marinade for about an hour or atleast 30 minutes.
  2. After an hour pressure cooker the marinated mutton with 4 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles and keep it aside.
  3. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  4. Grind the cashews, fennel seeds, cumin, green chili and garlic into smooth paste and keep it aside.
  5. Now heat Ghee and oil in a wide bottomed pan. Now add all the whole spices into it.
  6. Fry them in low heat until a nice aroma comes out of it. After that add the sliced onions into it.
  7. Fry them till  it becomes translucent and add 1/2 tbsp of ginger & garlic paste. Saute it for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
  8. After that add red chili 1/2 tbsp of red chili powder and coriander powder. Mix it all together and add turmeric powder.
  9. Now add the chopped tomatoes with required salt and fry them for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Finally add the mint leaves  & coriander  leaves, mix it all together.
  11. Now add the pressure cooked mutton and mix them well finally add the ground paste and saute it for another 5 minutes in low flame.
  12. Once the gravy is done transfer it into the electric rice cooker vessel.
  13. Fry the soaked basmati rice in the same gravy pan for 2 minutes with 2 tbsp of ghee.
  14. After that transfer the rice from the above step  in to electric rice cooker pan with that  gravy (step 12). Mix it all together sprinkle some coriander leaves and close the lid.
  15. Once it’s done serve it hot with raitha, mutton curry or any of your favorite ¬†side dishes.


  1. Ambur biryani is traditionally made with seeraga samba rice (Broken Rice).
  2. And you can also do this dum method instead of the above one.
    –¬†Add the washed rice in a boiling water, salt and cook till 3/4th done and drain the water. Set the rice aside.
    – And layer the rice with gravy mentioned in step 12 and dum cook in oven for about 30 minutes in 350 F
Any briyani goes great with Pepper Mutton Curry I just posted recently. Don’t forget boiled eggs and raita to go with it!
Here are a few more briyani recipes we have posted so far


  1. Delicious mutton biriyani…Nice clicks toooo..

  2. Sounds and looks flavourful…yummy and tempting

  3. Yumm,Deliciousand spicy mutton Briyani -a speciality of TamilNadu.Luv it

  4. Looks so colorful and inviting, Luv all those clicks

  5. Can we substitute chicken in this recipe? Will we get the same results?

    • Yes you can, But pressure cook it for one whistle when you use chicken.

      • Hi Ms.Shriya,

        Excellent receipe. I would like to know that whether we should boilded the soaked rice before or Mix it all together sprinkle some coriander leaves and close the lid for how many minutes? Please explain it to me.

        Thanks in advance.



      • Hi Ms.Shriya,

        Excellent receipe. I would like to know that whether we should boiled the soaked rice before or Mix it all together sprinkle some coriander leaves and close the lid for how many minutes? Please explain it to me.

        Thanks in advance.



      • Hello Venkat, I’ve used electric rice cooker in this recipe, so I’ve didn’t boil the rice before. If you are using electric rice cooker just add the soaked rice and close it. Most of the electric rice cooker are automatic, so it will switch off once the rice is cooked completely. If you are using pressure cooker, just cook the biryani for 2 whistle and remove it from heat.

  6. Seriously makes me hungry, just drooling over those irresistible spread..

  7. hi shriya,..i was wondering in electric cooker wat settings did u use?? or manual time how long???thx

  8. hi shriya,
    i tried ur mutton biryani and it turned out awasome…it has now become my regular party main course dish…thanks a ton for d great recipe…u guys are doing a fab job..keep up the d good work..looking forward to try out more dishes from ur site…

  9. hi shriya ,
    ur mutton biryani turned out awasome and has become my regular main course party food…thanks a lot for the great recipe…i love ur site..hv tried ur egg korma, mutton chukka, spicy chicken kolambu and all hv come out well..keep up d good work..

  10. Hi! i have tried this recipe twice and it is heavenly. Can we follow the same recipe for Vegetable Biryani?

  11. hai all

    Ambur biriyani is now in chennai too they r starting a branch in anna nagar next month and it is there 2nd outlet in chennai and they already have one in bangalore… will keep posted of the address later

  12. I went on my vacation to India after being in Melbourne -Australia for 7 years, we stopped at Ambur for the Birayani which was famous snd must say the Ambur mutton Birayani on the bus route way side in hotel 5 stars which was out of this world and just fantastic.I have not eaten better birayani…..loved it. I’m back in Australia and craving for it.

  13. Hi Shriya,
    This is the first time ever I’m writing a review for a recipe. I tried this Mutton biryani today and it turned out AWESOME !! Yummy, yummy :-)) I’ve never cooked mutton at all, so it was just unbelievable to eat restaurant quality mutton biriyani at home ( made by me! ) Thanks a ton!!

    • Hi Chikoo, I am really glad it came out good and appreciated for your review. Keep trying our recipes and thanks for visiting us.

  14. super

  15. Thank you very much for the recipe. We cooked it tonight and it was awesome!Keep up the good work!

  16. I used this recipe for the first time a couple months ago. I had never made biryani or used mutton before. The mutton was fall apart tender, even the bones were melting in my mouth. Such amazing flavor. My parents who have both been cooking for years declared this the best mutton biryani ever. Music to my ears! I have made it thrice since and it has been amazing everytime. I am making it again for my parents today (thanksgiving special) but I was hoping you could clarify one thing for me. First off, I have been following the recipe to a T except at the end instead of making the rice in a rice cooker vessel, I put the rice and mutton sauce back into the pressure cooker and cook it for 5 min.

    My question: If I wanted to increase the amount of rice (say 5 cups since that’s double of what this recipe calls for) would I then increase the amount of water I pressure cook the mutton in, at the start to 8 cups (instead of the 4)? Thus doubling rice = double the water when pressure cooking mutton?

    • Hi Rachel, Thanks for your comments. About your question: As per my instruction, if you are doubling the amount of rice just double the amount of water. For 5 cups of rice, you can use 8 cups of water to cook the mutton since you will also be doubling the amount of mutton. Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Thanksgiving!!

      • Hey Shriya,
        Thankyou for the fast reply. I tried using 5 cups of rice with 6 cups of water, mutton was still 1/2 kg and at the end there was a film of water/oil/ghee at the top of the pressure cooker when i was done. I had to drain it. Furthermore the bottom of the rice had scorched and the rice had turned mushy. For perfect biryani, I know the math is this: 2 and 1/2 cups rice, 4 cups water, 1/2 kg mutton and cooking for 5 min at the very end in the pressure cooker. I would like to leave the mutton at 1/2 kg and just double the rice (to 5 cups), so what would you suggest for that(as far as amount of water and cooking time in the pressure cooker)?

  17. Hi Shri,

    Should we add mutton along with the water (cooked with mutton)
    to the onion mixture?

  18. How do I cook fish and prawn using this recipe? And can I use more meat with the same quantity of rice and water? (Say 1 kg)


  20. thanks fr infm…

  21. Hi! I would like to say a big Thank You for this recipe. It turned out well and tasted awesome. Your way of listing the ingredients and instructions were easy to follow too.This recipe is a keeper! Thanks again.

  22. Hi,
    My wife is pregnant and she’s been craving for mutton briyani. So I decided to surprise her by making Ambur briyani. Until she tasted I didn’t reveal her what type I prepared. She was so happy and thanked me for the delicious briyani. And now its my turn to thank OP for such a great briyani. This is my first time and I was nervous about the outcome. But the result came out in favor of OP.

    • Hi velu, I am really glad it came out good and your wife liked it. Congratulations to both of you!1

  23. Hi shriya,

    Tried this biryani today, my husband and son loved it. Thank you so much for this recipe. We are already fans of your hyderabadi dum biryani.


  24. We have been making this biriyani for quite often now & every time it has turned out fabulously well. Actually my husband searched & found this recipe from here. Can I post it in my blog too linking it back to ur space?

    • yes you can post it with link back to the recipe!

  25. rnt you adding extra water after adding rice. Will the water added with mutton will be sufficient to cook the rice ?

    • yes it will be more than enough.

  26. Hi, If it is pressure cooker how long should I keep…… What garam masala do u use….

    Thanks…. Happy Diwali ….

    • Just one whistle in medium heat. I’ve used shakthi garam masala powder.

  27. tried it… really came out awesome… thanks for the receipe

  28. I tried with chicken and it came out very good.Thanks for the recipe.My friends loved it too.

  29. Hi,

    Inviting pics! After sauteing tomatoes, when mutton is added, should the water be added too? If so, wont it turn the rice mushy? Kindly, clarify.


  30. Hi im going to try your recipe today…..????

  31. Really i enjoyed your recipe. Biriyani came out very tasty. My husband like it very much.Thank you for posting this recipe.