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Chicken Mandi Recipe: A Flavorful Arabian Delight

Chicken Mandi

Are you looking for a delicious and aromatic dish to tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than Chicken Mandi, a traditional Arabian recipe that combines tender chicken with fragrant rice and a blend of aromatic spices. In this article, we will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to prepare Chicken Mandi, ensuring a delightful culinary experience for you and your loved ones.



Chicken Mandi is a traditional Arabian dish that traces its roots back to Yemen. It is believed to have originated in the southern region of Arabia and has since gained popularity across the Middle East and beyond. The word “Mandi” itself means “expensive” in Arabic, referring to the rich and luxurious flavors of this delectable dish.

The history of Chicken Mandi can be traced back to the ancient Arabic nomadic tribes who used to prepare this dish during special occasions and festive celebrations. It was a way for them to showcase their hospitality and treat their guests to a flavorful feast.

Over time, the recipe for Chicken Mandi spread across the Arabian Peninsula, with each region adding its own unique touch to the dish. Today, it is considered a staple in Arabian cuisine and is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.

The Influence of Arabian Culture

Arabian cuisine is known for its vibrant flavors, aromatic spices, and the art of slow cooking. These elements greatly influence the preparation of Chicken Mandi. The dish combines tender chicken, fragrant basmati rice, and a blend of aromatic spices that create a harmonious blend of flavors.

Arabian culture values hospitality and the act of sharing meals with family and friends. Chicken Mandi perfectly embodies this cultural tradition. It is often prepared in large quantities, bringing people together to enjoy a communal dining experience.

Evolution and Global Popularity

As Arabian cuisine gained recognition worldwide, Chicken Mandi caught the attention of food enthusiasts and chefs alike. Its unique flavors and exquisite presentation have made it a sought-after dish in many Middle Eastern restaurants globally.

Today, you can find variations of Chicken Mandi in different parts of the world, each with its own regional twist. Some recipes use additional ingredients like raisins, nuts, or caramelized onions to enhance the flavors further. However, the essence of the dish remains the same – a tantalizing blend of tender chicken, aromatic rice, and fragrant spices.

Preserving Tradition

Despite its growing popularity and modern adaptations, Chicken Mandi has managed to preserve its traditional roots. Many families in Arabia still prepare it using age-old recipes passed down through generations. This helps to keep the cultural heritage alive and maintain the authentic flavors of this Arabian delicacy.

In recent years, Chicken Mandi has also gained recognition as a festive dish during special occasions such as weddings, Eid celebrations, and family gatherings. Its rich flavors and captivating aroma continue to captivate food enthusiasts, making it a favorite choice for those seeking an exquisite Arabian culinary experience.


Preparing the Chicken30 minutes
Preparing the Rice20 minutes
Assembling the Chicken Mandi10 minutes
Cooking the Chicken Mandi2 hours
Serving and EnjoyingN/A

Please note that the total cooking time for Chicken Mandi may vary based on individual cooking equipment and techniques. It is important to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the rice is tender before serving. Enjoy your culinary adventure with Chicken Mandi!


Chicken (whole or pieces)500 grams
Basmati Rice1 cup
Onion1 medium, thinly sliced
Garlic3 cloves, minced
Ginger1-inch piece, grated
Green Chilies2, sliced
Tomato1, chopped
Lemon1, juiced
Yogurt1/4 cup
Olive Oil2 tablespoons
Ghee (Clarified Butter)2 tablespoons
Mandi Spice Mix2 tablespoons
Cinnamon Stick1 small
Cardamom Pods2
Black Lime (Loomi)1
SaffronA pinch, soaked in water
SaltTo taste
Water2 cups

These ingredients will ensure a flavorful and aromatic Chicken Mandi dish for two servings. Enjoy your cooking!


Preparing the Chicken

  1. Clean and marinate the chicken: Wash the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry. In a bowl, combine yogurt, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Coat the chicken with the marinade mixture and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preparing the Rice

  1. Wash and soak the rice: Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain it.

Assembling the Chicken Mandi

  1. Sauté the onions and spices: In a large cooking pot, heat olive oil and ghee over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until golden brown. Add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and black lime (loomi) to the pot. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the chicken and tomatoes: Place the marinated chicken into the pot with the onions and spices. Add the chopped tomatoes and green chilies. Mix well to coat the chicken with the flavors.
  3. Layer the rice: Spread the soaked and drained rice evenly over the chicken. Gently press the rice down to form an even layer.

Cooking the Chicken Mandi

  1. Pour in the water and saffron: Pour 2 cups of water into the pot, ensuring it covers the rice and chicken. Drizzle the saffron water over the rice for a beautiful color and aroma.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat: Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low and let the Chicken Mandi cook slowly for about 2 hours. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and the chicken to become tender.

Serving and Enjoying

  1. Fluff and serve: Once cooked, remove the lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork. Serve the Chicken Mandi on a serving platter, garnished with fried onions and fresh cilantro.
  2. Enjoy the aromatic feast: Serve the Chicken Mandi hot and savor the flavorful combination of tender chicken and fragrant rice. It pairs wonderfully with a side of tangy yogurt sauce or a fresh salad.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 plate (approx. 300g)
Calories450 kcal
Total Fat12g
Saturated Fat3g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate65g
Dietary Fiber3g
Vitamin D2mcg

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary depending on the specific ingredients and brands used in the recipe. It’s always a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian or use a reliable nutrition calculator for more accurate and personalized nutrition information.

Enjoy your Chicken Mandi in moderation as part of a balanced diet!


  • Choose the right chicken: For the best results, use fresh and high-quality chicken. You can opt for a whole chicken cut into pieces or use bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks for added flavor.
  • Marinate for longer: While the minimum marinating time is 30 minutes, marinating the chicken for a longer duration, such as overnight, will intensify the flavors and make the chicken even more tender.
  • Soak and rinse the rice: It is important to soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes to ensure even cooking and fluffiness. Rinse the rice well before soaking to remove excess starch and obtain separate grains.
  • Adjust spice levels: Feel free to adjust the spice levels according to your preference. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of green chilies or omit them altogether. Likewise, if you enjoy a spicier kick, add more chilies or even a pinch of chili powder.
  • Add nuts and raisins: For a delightful twist, you can add toasted nuts like almonds, cashews, or pine nuts to the dish. Additionally, some variations of Chicken Mandi include the addition of raisins, which add a hint of sweetness to the overall flavor.
  • Use a Dutch oven or slow cooker: If you don’t have a traditional cooking pot, you can use a Dutch oven or a slow cooker for the cooking process. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Garnish generously: When serving Chicken Mandi, don’t forget to garnish it generously with fried onions and fresh cilantro. This adds an extra layer of flavor and enhances the visual appeal of the dish.
  • Serve with traditional accompaniments: Chicken Mandi is traditionally served with a side of tangy yogurt sauce or a refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. These accompaniments complement the flavors of the dish and provide a balance of textures.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Bursting with aromatic flavors❌ Time-consuming preparation
✔️ Tender and flavorful chicken❌ Lengthy cooking time
✔️ Fragrant and fluffy basmati rice❌ Requires some specialty ingredients
✔️ Showcases the richness of Arabian cuisine❌ May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions
✔️ Great for sharing and communal dining❌ Can be a high-calorie dish


In conclusion, Chicken Mandi is a truly delightful Arabian dish that captures the essence of Middle Eastern flavors. With its tender and flavorful chicken, fragrant basmati rice, and aromatic spices, it promises to take your taste buds on a culinary journey like no other.

The rich history and cultural significance of Chicken Mandi make it a special dish that showcases the hospitality and traditions of the Arabian region. Whether you’re seeking a flavorful meal for a special occasion or simply looking to expand your culinary repertoire, Chicken Mandi is a recipe worth exploring.

While the preparation of Chicken Mandi may require some time and effort, the end result is a dish that is sure to impress. From marinating the chicken to layering the rice and slow-cooking the dish, each step is essential in creating the harmonious blend of flavors that make Chicken Mandi truly exceptional.

So, why not embark on a culinary adventure and give Chicken Mandi a try? The tantalizing aroma, the tender chicken, and the fragrant rice will transport you to the heart of Arabian cuisine. Gather your loved ones, embrace the spirit of sharing, and savor every bite of this flavorsome delight.

Don’t hesitate to experiment with variations, adjust the spice levels to your liking, and make it your own. The joy of cooking lies in discovering new flavors and creating memorable experiences through food.

Experience the warmth of Arabian hospitality, indulge in the exquisite flavors, and create cherished moments around the table with Chicken Mandi. Let the flavors of the Middle East dance on your palate and enjoy the delights of this traditional Arabian dish.

Get ready to embark on a culinary journey and savor the magic of Chicken Mandi!


  • 🌍 Fact 1: Arabian Origins
    • Chicken Mandi originated in Yemen, a country known as the “Coffee Capital of the World.” This delightful dish showcases the rich culinary heritage of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • 🐔 Fact 2: Chicken Delight
    • Chicken Mandi is a poultry lover’s dream! It combines tender chicken with fragrant rice and spices to create a flavorful and satisfying culinary experience.
  • 🍚 Fact 3: The Rice Revelation
    • The fragrant basmati rice used in Chicken Mandi is renowned for its long grains and delightful aroma. It perfectly complements the succulent chicken and adds an extra layer of deliciousness.
  • 🔥 Fact 4: Slow and Steady Wins the Flavor
    • The slow cooking process is key to the extraordinary taste of Chicken Mandi. Allowing the flavors to meld together and the chicken to become tender over low heat results in a truly mouthwatering dish.
  • 🍽️ Fact 5: A Feast for All
    • Chicken Mandi is more than just a meal—it’s a feast! It brings people together, symbolizing warmth, hospitality, and the joy of sharing delicious food with loved ones.


Can I use boneless chicken for Chicken Mandi?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken for Chicken Mandi. However, keep in mind that bone-in chicken adds more flavor to the dish.

Can I use brown rice instead of basmati rice?

While basmati rice is traditional for Chicken Mandi, you can substitute it with brown rice. Adjust the cooking time and water quantity accordingly.

What can I serve as a side dish with Chicken Mandi?

Chicken Mandi pairs well with a side of tangy yogurt sauce, fresh cucumber and tomato salad, or a refreshing mint chutney.

Can I make Chicken Mandi in advance?

Yes, you can make Chicken Mandi in advance. Simply store the cooked dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it gently before serving.

Is Chicken Mandi a spicy dish?

Chicken Mandi has a mild spice level. However, you can adjust the spice level by increasing or decreasing the amount of green chilies or spices used.

Can I use a rice cooker to cook the rice for Chicken Mandi?

Yes, you can use a rice cooker to cook the rice for Chicken Mandi. Follow the rice cooker’s instructions and adjust the water quantity accordingly.

Can I freeze the leftovers of Chicken Mandi?

Yes, you can freeze the leftovers of Chicken Mandi. Ensure it is stored in an airtight container and consume it within 2 to 3 months for the best quality.

Can I use store-bought Mandi spice mix?

Yes, you can use store-bought Mandi spice mix for convenience. However, making your own spice blend allows for customization of flavors.

Can I substitute ghee with another type of oil?

Yes, you can substitute ghee with clarified butter or vegetable oil if needed. However, ghee adds a distinct flavor to the dish.

Can I use a pressure cooker for cooking Chicken Mandi?

While traditionally cooked on low heat, you can use a pressure cooker for faster cooking. Adjust the cooking time and follow your pressure cooker’s instructions.