Yemeni Chicken Mandi

Yemeni Chicken Mandi Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 3)

Recipe courtesy – Adapted from Chef Shameem

1. Basmati Rice – 1 cup

2. Oil  + butter/ghee – 1 + 1 tbsp

3. Whole spices – Green cardamom – 3, cloves – 3, cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch, bay leaves – 2, cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp, whole black pepper – 1/4 tsp

4. Onion – 1/3 cup, chopped

Garlic – 2 – 3, chopped

Green chilies – 2, slit

5. Dry lemon – 1

Maggi chicken stock cube – 1/2 of 1 (around 3/4 tsp. Optional, added for extra taste)

6. Spice powder – 1  tsp (recipe below)

7. Salt – To taste

8. Hot water – 1.5 cup

Maggi chicken stock cube – 1/2 of one

9. Charcoal – 1 (to give smoky flavor)

Ghee / oil – 1 tsp

For chicken

11. Chicken leg quarters – 3 (Around 1/2 – 3/4 kg) , remove skin and make deep gashes on the fleshy part

12. Salt – As required

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Ghee / melted butter – 1 tbsp

13. Ghee / melted butter – 2 tsp

Saffron – 1 pinch soaked in 1 tbsp hot water

For the spice powder

14. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Kashmiri chilly powder / paprika – 3/4 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Coriander seeds – 1.5 tsp

Black pepper corns – 2 tsp

Cinnamon stick- 1 inch, broken

Green cardamom – 10,

Cloves – 10


1. Grind all the ingredients numbered 14 to a fine powder. To a large bowl, add 1 – 1.5 tbsp of this spice powder, salt, 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp ghee / melted butter and 1/2 of a chicken stock cube. Mix well and taste-check for salt.  Make 2 – 3 deep slits on the fleshy part of the chicken so that the marinade can penetrate inside the flesh. Rub the marinade all over the chicken leg quarters one by one. Remember to rub the marinade inside the slits. Set aside for at least 1 hour.

 2.  Heat 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp butter and add onion, garlic, green chilies and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes. Add whole spices numbered 3 and continue to cook until onion turns translucent. Add 1 – 1.5 tsp spice powder, dried lemon, 1/2 of a maggi chicken stock cube and mix well. Add 1.5 cup water and bring to a boil. Add salt, to taste. The water should be slightly salty. Add rinsed rice (no need to soak rice). Mix well. Cover the pot tightly with 3 layers of aluminium foil and make holes on the foil as shown in the pic below using a skewer. Place the chicken pieces on top. Brush them with ghee and cover with 2 – 3 layers of aluminium foil. Make sure it is very tight. Cook the pot over medium heat for 4 minutes. Bring down the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes (depending on the quantity of rice and chicken you’ll be using). Switch off the flame. Let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Open the foil after 10 minutes. Take out the chicken pieces and broil at high heat or air-fry at 400 F for 3 – 4 minutes till slightly roasted (this step is optional but highly recommended.) Now place the chicken pieces along with the rice.  Place a small bowl inside the pot. Heat a piece of charcoal on direct flame until it is nicely hot, this will take a few minutes. Once the charcoal is hot, place it in the bowl that is in the rice and pour a tsp of oil/ghee on top. Immediately cover with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes. This gives a nice smoky flavor to the rice. Open the lid and mix gently. To serve – transfer cooked rice to a large platter and place the chicken pieces on top.  Enjoy with Salata Hara and salad! It tastes absolutely fantastic. Do give a try!

Salata Hara (Arabic Tomato Salsa)

Tomato, ripe – 2 medium, chopped

Cilantro – 3 tbsp, chopped

Green chilly – 1 – 2 (mild or medium spicy, you can remove the seeds inside), chopped

Garlic – 1/2 small, chopped

Lemon juice –  2 – 3 tsp or to taste

Cumin powder – 1 pinch

Salt – To taste

Coarse grind all the above ingredients in the large jar of a blender. Taste-check for salt and add more lemon juice, if required.

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

View all posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Hi Maya,
    Tried out the Mandi today and it came out really good. Light and flavorful and easy to make as well. Instead of doing the foil/steaming, I broiled the chicken and then placed it on top of the rice and allowed it to cook for 10 minutes. Eagerly awaiting Kabsa /Alfaham recipes too. Great work and thank you!!

    • Hi Neeta,
      Thank you so much for trying out the mandi recipe and great to know that you enjoyed it! Love the idea of broiling the chicken, will try that next time. I have already posted the recipe for chicken alfaham, you can check it out..

Search Yummy Recipes

Kerala Sadya Recipes

About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

Every Recipe Since 2010