Mandi (Arabic: مندي‎) is a traditional dish originated from Hadhramaut, Yemen, consisting mainly of meat and rice with a special blend of spices. It is cooked in a pit underground. It’s extremely popular and prevalent in most areas of the Arabian Peninsula, and even considered a staple dish in many regions. It’s also found in Egypt, the Levant, and Turkey.

It is also popular among the Hadhrami people in the Malabar region of Kerala, Bhatkal of Karnataka, as well as Barkas and areas around Hyderabad, India.

Mandi is usually made from rice, meat (lamb, camel, goat or chicken), and a mixture of spices called Hawaij. The meat used is usually a young and small sized lamb to enhance the taste further.

The main technique which differentiates Mandi from other meat dishes is that the meat is cooked in the tandoor (taboon in Arabic), which is a special kind of oven which is usually a pit dug up in the ground and covered with clay all around its sides.Learn how to make mandi at home with the easy recipe.


  • Basmathi Rice- 4 cupsChicken with skin-1.2 kgMandi spice mix- 1 tablespoonTurmeric- 1/2 teaspoon

    lemon- 1/2

    Dry lemon- 1-2

    Salt- to taste

    ghee|butter- 1 tablespoons

    oil-1 tablespoons

    cinnamon, cardamom and cloves- 3 pieces each

    Onion, chopped- 2 large

    Red chilli powder- 1 teaspoon

    Dry ginger powder- 1 teaspoon

  • Mandi Spice Mix:

    cumin seeds- 1/2 tablespoons

    coriander seeds- 1 tablespoons

    cinnamon- 3-4  one inch pieces




    dry Ginger- 1 big piece (2 inch)

    bay leaf- 2

    peppercorns- 1/2 tablespoons

  • For Tomato Chutney:

    tomatoes- 3

    green chillies-3

    garlic-4 cloves

    salt- to taste


For Mandi Spice Powder:

1.Slightly roast the spices till the aroma arises and when you touch (to check) the spices should be hot. Do not over roast it.

2.Finely powder it in a blender jar and transfer it to an air tight container.

For Meat Marination:

1.Wash and cut the chicken into half if you wish.

2.Take a tablespoon of mandi spice, add turmeric, salt and mix well. Rub the spice mix over the chicken.

3.Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and apply thoroughly all over the chicken.

4.Allow to marinate 2-3 hours.

For Stock and Rice preparation:

1.Soak the rice for 30 minutes.

2.In a deep wide pan add a tablespoon of ghee and oil together;  Add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

3.Now add the onion with some salt and cook till soft. Now add the marinated meat and cook the meat in high flame; Brown the meat for 3 minutes.

4.Add a teaspoon of red chilli powder and dry ginger powder and mix well and add 5 cups of water(extra one cup to compensate the evaporation loss while cooking chicken), 1/2 tablespoon of mandi spice powder, 2 dry lemon, 2 green chillies and salt to taste.

5.Close with a lid and cook till the meat cooks well (around 20-30 minutes)on medium flame. If you are planning to brown the skin on oven 20 minutes is enough.

6.Remove the meat from the stock and add the rice. close with a lid and cook till the rice is done.

7.I have browned the skin of the meat further in a preheated 180 degree oven  for 20 minutes.(this step is optional, people donot have oven can skip this step)

8.You could bake the rice too if you have a oven proof vessel while browning the skin of the chicken. Or else simmer on top of flame and cook the rice. 

9.Finally arrange the meat inside the rice pot and if you wish to get a smoky flavour, keep a small bowl and keep a piece of charcoal and add quarter teaspoon of ghee and close with a tight lid.(optional)

10.Before serving garnish the dish with almonds|pine nuts| cashewnuts, raisins and fried onions.

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