Sunday, September 20, 2020

Arabian Chicken Mandi

A traditional mandi is authentically cooked in an underground oven called Taboon. Coal is used to cook the meat hence the smokey flavor. My version is an easy and a simple way to make at home which is healthy as well as tasty. 

I googled around many recipes of chicken mandi and made this dish which surprisingly turned out the perfect one that we had when we were in India last time. I have marinated the whole chicken for overnight, if you plan well before you can do that or else it can be marinated for 2- 3 hours. I wanted the perfect mandi flavor so I marinated overnight. 

The rice is prepared by adding all the whole spices and the dried lemons which gives a flavor to the rice. Then this rice is transferred into the oven and the whole chicken is placed on top rack so that the water from the chicken directly falls into the rice by this the flavor of the meat lingers on in the rice.

As Kerala has wholeheartedly welcomed yummiest of dishes from across the seas, one such dish is "mandi". In Kerala, which ever restaurant you go this dish is available that too they prepare in the traditional way of digging a hole in the ground and filling it up with coal. 

At first I thought it is a long process of preparation but once i started the step by step everything came of quickly.The perfect combination along with this rice is "dakkous" a mixture of tomatoes, green chilies, onions. 

I will be posting some step by step pictures which I managed to capture while making this dish. Hope you all might really enjoy and try this dish.


  • Whole Chicken- Cleaned and washed

Mandi Spice Mix:

  1. Cumin Seeds- 1 tbsp
  2. Coriander Seeds- 1 tbsp
  3. Cardamom- 3 nos
  4. Cloves- 5 
  5. Cinnamon Stick- 1"
  6. Black Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  7. Lemon Juice- 2tbsp
  8. Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
  9. Olive Oil- 1 tbsp

Basmati Rice Mix:

  1. Basmati Rice- 3 Cups
  2. Water- 5 Cups
  3. Dried Lemons- 2
  4. Whole Spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise)- 1tbsp
  5. Salt- as required


  • Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.

For the spice mix. Heat a pan and roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds. When cooled transfer to a dry grinder along with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper powder and turmeric powder into a fine powder. Rub this mix along with salt, olive oil and lemon juice onto the chicken well and marinate for about 1 hour/ overnight. ( I marinated the chicken overnight as I had some time).

For the rice: Heat a pot, add oil, whole spices, mandi spice mix, dried lemon and add the rice, fry for a minute. Add water and let it boil by putting a lid. Once it starts boiling, switch off the flame and move the pot of rice into the preheated oven.

  • Place the rice on the bottom rack and place the marinated chicken on top rack just above the rice so that when it gets baked the water from the chicken falls into the rice. 

  • Bake this for 10 minutes and reduce the heat to 200 degrees F and bake for about 1 and half hour. After the time, switch off the oven and open the door for about 5- 10 minutes so that the chicken retains its flavor and juices. Once done, keep the rice outside along with the baked chicken on top of the rice. Enjoy the delicious dish.



  1. Tomatoes- 2 
  2. Onions- 1 
  3. Green Chilies- 3 
  4. Garlic Cloves- 3
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Olive oil- 1 tbsp


  • Grind all the ingredients and transfer to a bowl. Enjoy with chicken mandi.

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