Mandi is a rice dish available throughout the Arabian peninsula s well as some African countries. Mainly
it belongs from Yaman. It is a dish cooked with rice and any kind of meat fro camel to chicken. Normally its a young animal which is cooked in the clay oven and rice are prepared separately. Its a dish of special occasions like weddings and feasts or celebrations. It is so delicious that i just need an excuse of the weekend to make it :) I won't call it authentic recipe as i have not got it from any Yemeni friend. I had it during one of my visits to UAE and fell in love with that. So i recreated it at home and it turned out amazing and very very close to the original. I am writing the recipe in two steps; one for chicken preparation and second for rice. Here is how the recipe goes.
Basmati Rice 2 cups
Onion 1 small finely chopped
Tomato 1 large grated
Garlic 3 cloves grated
Salt 1.5 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Oil 1/4 cup
Cinnamon 2 inch pc
Star Anise 1 flower
Green cardamom 4-6
Saffron 1 pinch soaked in 1/4 cup hot water
Chicken Stock 3 1/2 cups
Heat the oil in a pan and add onion. Fry till they start browning at the the edges.
Add green cardamom, cinnamon stick, star anise, chopped tomato and grated garlic and cook till tomato disappears and it all becomes a homogenize mix.
Pour the stock in and add salt and sugar.
Once it all comes to a boil, drain the water fro the rice and add it to the stock. Let it boil and then lower the heat to medium and cover. When all the water is evaporated, sprinkle the saffron water on top of the rice and cover and steam on the lowest setting of your stove until you see the steam escaping from the lid.
Open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork.
Chicken 2-3 lbs whole skin on
Butter 2 tbsp melted
Saffron 1 generous pinch
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Garlic 1 head slit in half
Wash chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.
Coat the chicken with butter mix and rub it all over including the cavity.
Put the lemon rinds and garlic inside the stomach cavity and let it marinate for at least 1 hour or upto 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven at 425 degrees.
Put chicken in a baking tray breast side down. Cover loosely with aluminium foil.
Bake for 40 minutes. Take out the chicken and flip it over. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until juice run clear. If the skin is still not brown put it under the broiler while keeping a close eye on it.
Note:Traditional way of serving mandi is to spread an inch thick layer of rice on a big round platter. Put the meat in the center.
I like to garnish mine with some raisins but its totally optional.