Ambur is known for two things – its contribution to the leather trade of the state and the delicious Biriyani which attracts many from across the state and beyond. “When RK Nagar polls were announced the last time, 66 biriyani cooks were taken there,” Ambur Biriyani Masters Association president Abdul Rahim told DTNext.
Stating that 234 biriyani cooks in the town are association members, he said that for the current polls, a total of 132 cooks have been taken to RK Nagar, being assured of all facilities to cook for candidates, party workers and even voters.
“While the cooks earned anything between Rs 500 and Rs 1000 daily here, they have been assured of amounts ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 daily, said association secretary Peer Mohammed. “Members who have made a beeline for Chennai will be provided food, transport, lodging facilities,” Rahim added. For cutting brinjals and onions – side dishes for biriyani – nearly 200 helpers from Vellore, Ambur and Arcot towns have also been taken to Chennai, sources said.
Sidelined leader TTV Dinakaran’s group has hired the maximum number of cooks followed by the Edapaddi K Palanisamy-led AIADMK. The DMK comes a distant third. Sources revealed that this time, even voters would be provided this sumptuous treat.
Interestingly, Ambur biriyani masters do not cook with just any rice. “Special biriyani rice from Arni town in neighbouring Tiruvanamalai district has been sent to RK nagar” a source revealed.” Mohammed said the Arni biriyani rice costs Rs100 per kg and a kilo feeds five people.
For ‘salan’ the side dish, brinjals from Elavambadi near Vellore are much sought after. Compared to ordinary brinjals, the Elavamabadi variety costs up to Rs 130 per kg. These loads are also now being diverted to Chennai, resulting in short supply in Vellore, traders revealed. Onions needed for the ‘raitha’ would be procured from Chennai’s Koyambedu vegetable market directly, Vellore traders said.