Trying to make the perfect Chicken Mandi? Here's what you need to do

   Mandi (Arabic: مندي‎) aka Mandy or Mandhi, is a traditional dish originated from Hadramawt, Yemen, consisting mainly of meat and rice with a special blend of spices. It is cooked in a pit underground and extremely popular in the Arabian Peninsula. 

Yemeni Chicken Mandi



1 tablespoon of Mandi Spice
1 whole chicken cut into desired pieces (do not remove skin)
4 onions (sliced rounds)
2 lemons (sliced rounds)
1 tablespoon mandi spices
4 garlic (crushed)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder or saffron powder
Salt & Pepper
Aluminium foil


4 cups basmati rice — soak for 15 minutes 
3 tablespoon ghee 
4 - 5 cups water (depending on the rice) 
4 onions (grind) 
8 garlic (grind) 
1/2 inch ginger (grind) 
1 cinnamon stick 
5 cardamom pods 
5 cloves 
1 teaspoon turmeric powder 
Saffron or yellow colouring


Cooking the Chicken

1. Mix the chicken with turmeric powder or saffron powder, mandi spices, salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes

2. Line the bottom of a baking tray with the onions and lemon slices

3. Place the chicken on the onions and lemon slices and cover with aluminium foil and roast for an hour

4. After approx 30 minutes, remove the aluminium foils. Remove liquid from the baking tray and reserve the liquid for the rice

5. Continue baking the chicken until it is well done

Cooking the Rice

1. Heat the ghee in a pot or wok, add in the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cloves and fry until a fragrant smell emits from the mixture

2. Add in the onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger and fry again

3. Remove wok from the gas flame and transfer mixture into the rice cooker

4. Add water and salt and wait to boil.

5. Put in the rice and cook as normal.

6. Add in the reserve liquid from the chicken.

7. Add in the baked chicken and put on the rice in the rice cooker.

8. Make a hole in center of the rice and place a bowl with 2 tablespoon oil in the center of the rice

9. Place a burning coal in the oil and close the lid of the rice cooker.

10. Remove the bowl after a few minutes and serve

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