Hi Everyone… Today is November 1. For me, this day has got so many specialities. I belong to Kerala (India) and the Kerala State was created on November 1, 1956. That means today is Kerala State’s birthday. And today happens to be TheFlavourista’s birthday as well. Yes…This blog is 4 years old now. And guess wot…Today’s is my hubby’s birthday as well. So, isn’t it a day for treat. Normally for me, birthdays means cakes, cakes and cakes… But today I was not in a mood to bake and mind you..baking needs a lot of love and attention. Actually, the past couple of weeks have been so stressful… Children falling sick, my son was hospitalized and so on. Anyways…all is well now..Alhamdulillah…and soon I need to get back to baking…because I and my kids love cakes. So, today is a kind of fusion here. I talked about Kerala Piravi earlier, but the dish that I’m presenting today is an Arabian dish. That’s because even though I’m a keralite, I was born and brought up here. For the time being, I would get away with that excuse. Hahha…

Mandhi is a traditional Yemeni dish and it’s very popular among all the Arab countries. Mandhi is usually made from rice, meat and a mixture of spices. Traditionally Mandhi is cooked in a tandoor. Here I’m making it on the stovetop. I think Mandhi is a healthy meal compared to our traditional Indian biriyani, as we use only less oil and no ghee is used. This is served with some fresh salad, yogurt and a tomato chutney.


1 kg Chicken(skin on), cut into 2 pieces horizontally

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large tomato

5 green chillies

1 tablespoon of ginger paste

1 tablespoon of garlic paste

3 bay leaves

5 cardamoms

5 cloves

2 pieces of cinnamon

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup + ¼ cup olive oil

2+2 tablespoons of Mandhi spice powder

2 tablespoons of melted butter

Salt to taste

4 cups of basmati rice

8 cups of water

Mandhi spice powder

2 tablespoons of cardamom pods

2 tablespoons of cloves

1 tablespoon of black pepper

1 whole nutmeg (discard the outer shell and crush the nutmeg)

1 tablespoon of ginger powder

4 bay leaves




First prepare mandhi spice powder. Grind all the ingredients under the mandhi spice powder to a fine powder and set aside.

Next, blend tomato and green chillies and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of mandhi spice powder and some salt in a small bowl.

Wash and soak basmati rice for atleast 20 minutes.

Heat a large saucepan and add oil.

Add finely chopped onion and sauté till translucent.

Add in the ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté ill the raw smell evaporates.

Add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper and mix.

Add the tomato-green chilli puree and mix well.

When the oil start to separate, add the chicken and mix.

Add 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoon of mandhi spice powder and stir.

Let it boil.

Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 180degrees Centigrade.

Remove the chicken on to a baking tray and brush with butter and spice powder mixture that we’ve mixed and kept aside earlier.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the skin of the chicken turns to a nice golden brown colour.

Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large pan and fry the rice in it stirring constantly for about 10 – 15 minutes.

In the meantime bring the chicken stock to a boil.

Now add the rice to the chicken stock.

Now slide a large piece of aluminium foil on top of the saucepan and then cover with the lid.

Cook the rice on medium low flame for about 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and check if there is any trace of water left. If water is left, then cover and cook for another  3 – 5 minutes.

Now stir the rice with a fork so that it doesn’t clog together.

Take 3 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a small bowl and place it in the middle of the rice.

Heat a piece of charcoal and put it in that bowl.

Immediately slide the aluminium foil and secure with lid.

Open it only at the time of serving.

This gives a nice smokey flavor to the rice.

To serve, spread rice onto a large serving tray and place a piece of baked chicken on top.

Serve it with some salad and special tomato chutney.















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