Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chicken Mandi

Chicken Sajji is one of my favorite things to eat when I am up for a take away. It is mostly because it is a complete meal and I also really really love the Kabuli pulao.

If you ever give me a choice of meeting my favorite person or eating chicken sajji I will more likely do the latter.

There is an Arabic version of Sajji which is known as Mandi. A recipe from Yemen which is popular among the Gulf and I have seen many people ODing on it on my Snapchat. It always intrigued me that I kinda waited for years to travel to some Gulf country to taste this thing but sadly I never got the chance because BROKE AF.

So, I took it to myself and decided to make this thing. After enough searching I found the perfect recipe and with a little adjustment to the ingredients I was good to go.

The most interesting part of this recipe is making the spice rub for the chicken marination and then the marinating process. The spice rub is very unique and nothing I have ever tasted before and it is known as Hawaij.


Coriander seeds 1.5 tablespoons

Cumin seeds 1.5 tablespoons

Whole Black peppercorns- 1.5 teaspoons

Whole cardamom 1 tablespoon

Whole cloves 1 teaspoon

Whole cinnamon 2 inch stick


1 whole skinned chicken weighing 1.5 kilograms

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoon Hawaij

3 teaspoons salt


2.5 cups basmati rice soaked

1 roughly chopped onion

6 green chilies

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons oil

2 cloves

3 whole cardamoms

2 inch cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn

1 teaspoon saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons of water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

5 cups of water

We start off with preparing Hawaij by roasting all the ingredients in a medium heat pan for 4 minutes.

Then we let the roasted spices cool down and then add them to a grinder to turn it into a powdered mixture.

Now we marinate the chicken by combine melted butter with Hawaij, salt, turmeric and pepper in a bowl.

Brush the spice rub thoroughly onto the chicken and inside the chicken as well.

Wrap the chicken with a plastic or aluminum foil and let it marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight.

I had it in the fridge over night and trust me the chicken tasted way better with more time to the marination.

Now we prepare the rice by frying chopped onions in a pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil in it.

When the onions become translucent, turn off the stove and add, rice, green chilies, bay leaves, pepper corns, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, water and salt according to your taste.

Mix it properly.

Place a wire rack over the pan and carefully place the chicken breast side down over it.

Pre-heat the oven on 425 F and place the pan with the chicken on top and bake it for 15 minutes.

At this time we will soak the saffron threads in water so by the time the rice are cooked they are completely diluted in the water.

After fifteen minutes turn the temperature of the oven down to 325 F and cook the chicken for 1 hour.

NOTE - The time of cooking the chicken may vary upon size. So please despite of this recipe and timing instructions keep a check on your chicken and rice both after at least every 15-20 minutes.

After 1 hour take out the pan and carefully flip the chicken to breast side up. BE VERY CAREFUL THE CHICKEN WILL BE VERY HOT SO USE A CLOTH OR UTENSILS.

Put the pan with chicken on top back for another 45 minutes.

After 45 more minutes the rice are cooked and the chicken is baked. Take both things out. Separate the chicken and let it cool down.

Add Saffron to the rice and mix it well as that will give color and flavor to the rice.

Put the rice on a platter and place the chicken carefully over it. You can top Mandi with roasted almonds and lemon wedges as well.



  1. Hanfia brings the Traditional Arabic dish with a local taste and sauces. Mandi Chicken is the best mandi in town.

  2. Taste the exotic and authentic Arabian flavor right here! Hanifia brings you the genuine Chicken Mandi or Laham Mandi made with the authentic recipe!.


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