Anjappar Spicy Chicken Biryani

When I was looking up the net to make something special for dinner today I came across this recipe for Anjappar Chicken Biryani. Even before any research that I could do about the origin of Anjappar, I knew that this had to have originated in Tamil Nadu and then discovering that it was basically a part of Chettinad cuisine I knew that it would suit my husband and sisters palette very well as it would no doubt be really spicy.

But this recipe called for the chicken to not be marinated in curds, which is something that I love doing, so I did marinate it in curds and hence didn’t add the lemon juice in the end and also went slow on the salt.

But all in all, a really nice spicy South Indian tasting biryani, which would have been lovelier (according to my sister) with a couple of boiled eggs added to it!  



1/2 kg chicken (I used the breast and drumsticks)

2 cup basmati rice

1 big onion, thinly sliced

2 big tomato, chopped

8 ~ 10 green chilies

4 tbsp ghee

1 handful mint leaves, chopped coarsely

1 handful cilantro, chopped coarsely

For Marination:

400 g curds

1 tbsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

1 piece of cinnamon

4 cloves

2 green cardamoms

1 bay leaf




  • Wash and clean chicken pieces and marinate the chicken with red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and salt.
  • Wash rice for 3 times and soak it in fresh water for 15 ~ 30 minutes.
  • Drain and reserve the water for cooking.



  • Heat oil in a pressure pan, add seasoning ingredients and saute for few seconds.
  • Throw in sliced onion, sauté until it turns transparent and glossy.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and slit green chilles. Cook until tomatoes become soft and mushy. No tomato chunk should be seen at this stage.
  • Transfer the marinated chicken to the onion tomato mixture and cook for 5 ~ 6 minutes until chicken turns to white color.
  • Add required amount of water ( i.e. for 1 cup rice, add 1 1/2 cup of water) and allow it to boil.
  • Add rice (see notes) and mix well. Throw in chopped mint and cilantro leaves. Mix and adjust salt to taste and allow it to boil vigorously.
  • Cover with foil) if you don’t have tight lid for the pan.
  • Cook for 10 minutes in low heat. or pressure cook it for 1 whistle.
  • After 5 minutes or pressure drops, remove the lid and add 1 tsp. of ghee and 1 tbsp. of lemon.
  • Mix gently and serve hot with Raita.


Always use ripe tomatoes to this recipe and extra green chilies will enhance the taste.


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