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Chicken Mandy (Yemeni, Saudi)

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“The traditional way to cook Mandy is underground but realistically that is just not possible for most of us so in this recipe you will learn how to do it at home and work with what you have for almost the same amazing flavor! Watch a video on the smoking of the rice & chicken for this recipe at, In Saudi this would traditionally be served with Salata Hara. Recipe to come. This dish will taste like it came from a pit or grill when finished. Recipe modified from NOTE: YOU NEED 1 bukhoor coal.”
1hr 10mins
1 small chicken with rice

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 baby chicken, with skin on, cut up
  • 1 14 teaspoons mandy mixed spice (recipe to be posted)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and soaked
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomatoes, diced (may use canned)
  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 whole cloves (not garlic)
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I use homemade to be gluten free and halal)
  • shell of half onion, not actual shell the white part (or two halves to make a bowl shape that won't leak)


  1. NOTE: YOU NEED 1 bukhoor coal cut into 4 pieces.
  2. Make sure the skin is left on the chicken. This is one of the keys for cooking mandy because the skin produces natural fat to cook in the spices. This is why we do not use an oil. Rub mandy spice and sea salt, to taste all over chicken pieces. Place in a non-stick saute pan (or a well seasoned cast iron pan is what I use), cook chicken uncovered with no oil until tender and brown. Place cooked chicken on a plate reserving the pan remnants in the pan as they are.
  3. In a separate pan saute finely chopped onion with 1 tbs butter until tender. Add the whole bruised cardamom pods, cloves, chicken stock, sea salt, to taste, and drained Basmati rice; stir. Bring to a full boil add chopped tomatoes then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook (do not remove lid) for 15 minutes or as long as you cook your rice usually.
  4. After the chicken and rice are done pour the rice into the saute pan used to cook the chicken, mix around if transferring back to the other pot which I suggest if you use a cast iron pan like I do. Place the onion shell bowl into the middle of the rice. If you make a indent in the rice it is easier. Melt butter and pour into onion bowl. Carefully place chicken around the pan slightly close to the onion bowl. Add a hot bit of coal into the melted butter and quickly shut the lid. Allow to smoke for 15 minutes adding a new coal as needed. You may use 3 or 4 pieces of the same bukhoor coal.
  5. Remove onion bowl carefully and discard.
  6. Enjoy!

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