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Chicken Mandy

{bon appetite} 

{perfect golden chicken that cooks with its on fat} 

{lets smoke this baby} 

{I wish you could smell this} 

In this recipe the traditional way to cook it is underground but realistically that is just not possible for most of us so in this recipe you learn how to do it at home and work with what you have for almost the same amazing flavor. In the Gulf countries mandy is made from either chicken or lamb. I have also made a video so that you can see how we smoke rice for this dish. Watch it here. Here is Saudi we love to serve Salata Hara with meat and rice dishes. You can find that recipe here.

You also want to make sure the skin is left on the chicken. This is one of the keys for cooking mandy because the skin produces natural fat for it to cook in with the spices. This is why we do not use oil. You can use the shell of an onion then add a cube of butter and a bukhoor coal in the middle of the rice and chicken to smoke it. Just quickly add the lid and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. This dish will taste like it came from a pit or grill when finished.

1 large chicken, cut up (I usually use chicken breast)
4 teaspoons mandy spice mix
2 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 cups basmati rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tomato, diced
4 whole cardamom pods
salt and pepper to taste
1 chicken bouillon cubes (I use Maggi rice or chicken)
3 cups water

3 tablespoons butter
shell of half onion (bowl shaped)
bukhoor coal

1. Wash chicken they dry with a paper towel. Cover chicken with spice mix, cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for a few hours.

2. In a non-stick saute pan on medium heat add chicken , cook chicken uncovered with no oil until tender and brown for 45 minutes (25 minutes on thick side, 20 on the other).

2. Next, In a 4-quart sauce pan saute add butter. Add whole cardamom, chicken bullion, salt, rice and water; stir. Bring to a full boil add chopped tomatoes then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook (do not remove lid) for 25 minutes.

3. Place cooked chicken on a plate reserving the pan. After the chicken and rice has cooked pour the rice into the saute pan used to cook the chicken. Place the onion shell with butter into the middle. Carefully place chicken around the pan. Add coal onto butter ans quickly shut the lid. Allow to smoke for 15 minutes. Serve.

Yields: 3 servings


  1. jared9/09/2009

    hi, when you say "cook chicken uncovered with no oil until tender and brown, about 40 minutes" do you mean we have to add 4qt of water into the saucepan. and also what do you mean by "smoke" in the last sentence?
    Thanks from Malaysia

  2. Noor9/12/2009

    Hi! You do not use any water what so ever in this recipe. YOU have to use a non stick pan though, it will not stick like you would think so do not worry. The chickens fat that comes out while it cooks will actually cook the chicken. You use NOTHING no oil or no water :).. And yes you cook you awhile on each side like I stated. Trust me it will cook up just like mine but make sure a NON STICK pan.

    What I mean by smoking is actual smoking of the food. I have made a video to teach you how here:

    Hope that helps :)

  3. sdrkhn4/28/2010

    hey how much water do we need for cooking the rice???.....thnx:)

  4. Noor9/25/2010

    Sorry I just saw this but when I cook rice here is how I do it: I add 1 tablespoon of oil, salt and whatever spices I want and the clean rice. I add enough water so that it is about 1/3 over the top of it. About an inch. I bring to a boil then cover and place on low heat. DO NOT remove the lid ever. I just let it simmer for about 15 minutes. The steam will cook it. You can see through your lid (use glass if you have it) small holes all in the rice, that's a good sign :)..

  5. Arrwa11/18/2010

    I love this recipe and i've tried this dish a few times now and it's has quickly become a family favourite so thank you so much for posting

  6. Alhumdullah I am so glad that you like it. I know we love it as well and my recipe to me is much better then the actual mandy restaurants lol.

  7. Anonymous12/21/2010

    hi, do we use the same method for lamb mandy?

  8. Noor1/14/2011

    I plan to do lamb mandy soon. ITs a bit different since lamb has to be slow cooked.

  9. Sarah Muhammad4/30/2011

    salamu alaikum! i want to make this recipe but i was wondering.. what do you do with the chicken bullion??

  10. Noor5/01/2011

    alaykum salalm, it goes in the rice. Thanks for letting me know I left it out, I fixed it now.

  11. Larasepi5/03/2011

    Assalmualaikum 1 st time i tasted this dish i loved it n had been trying to get the recipe as its done in the saudi.. the one that was served at a hotel in Taif was fantastic..when i asked the chef 4 the recipe he included olive oil.i notice u in yr recipe u said no oil what so ever..+ the one i had the chicken were serve with chilli sauce & pickle which complimented the dish fantastically

  12. Noor5/04/2011

    The original Mandy should be cooked underground. That is how they do it in here in Saudi (well most places). The reason I cook with no oil is bc I want to duplicate the smokey natural taste as much as I can.

    They serve the sauce and pickles with all meals here :)

  13. UmmBinat5/19/2011

    Salam alaikum Noor! This was such a cool way to make it taste grilled! Though I did find the rice tasted more grilled than the chicken did, I will place the chicken pieces beside the coal next time! The only change I would make is to use less of the Mandy spice mix. Maybe my chicken was extra small but I found it too much.

  14. Noor5/31/2011

    I am glad you liked it you know you just have to do things to taste really when cooking :)

  15. Saud Al6/16/2011

    This recipe was EXCELLENT.

    I also added cinamon powder, cayenne chilli powder and less chilli powder, a pinch of tumeric and about a 1 and half teaspoon of Mama Africa Jalapeno Green Chilli sauce.
    I also added saffron water to the rice for the smell.

    Next time i would also fry lot of onions and put it on top. Served with a little shrimp curry for sauce and yoghurt.

    My family are very very fussy eaters. They LOVED IT. I have been meaning to cook Mandi for years, thanks for the BEST recipe on the net!

  16. Saud Al6/16/2011

    I forgot to add. The charcoal technique is like MAGIC AMAZING! I'll never waste time bbq'ing again!

  17. Noor7/05/2011

    Thanks so much I am really glad that your family and self enjoyed it.

  18. noey.it3/24/2012

    Hi. do we have to wash the onion shells before we use it for smoking. tq

  19. Noor3/31/2012

    Yea I would.

  20. Man Bucit4/01/2012

    salam Noor,

    My wife got a recipe from your blog and today she cooked a wonderful lamb mandy using your recipe ... thank you very much for a wonderful blog.


  21. Noor4/07/2012

    I am happy your family enjoyed this.

  22. bshamaker5/19/2012

    We just finished eating this for dinner. It fed 5 with some leftovers, so I think your serves 4 estimate is a little conservative. My kids cleaned their plates and asked for seconds! I had to send away for the right charcoal but the stovetop smoking was really fun and the final dish was exquisite! Really a treat! Thanks for the video help on the technique.

  23. Noor6/21/2012

    Thats great I am happy and than you for the comment :)

  24. Zarasalim7/10/2012

    Hi can i use normal coal instead of bukhoor coal is it the same?

  25. Noor7/10/2012

    Possibly but I have never tried it.

  26. Arvind8/11/2012

    Namskaar! Thank you Noor. I love this dish and ate a lot in Dubai.. will try myself now. God Bless. Regards, Arvind, Patna.

  27. Arvind8/11/2012

    Namskaar! Thank you Noor. I love this dish and ate a lot in Dubai.. will try myself now. God Bless. Regards, Arvind, Patna.

  28. RAIZULI MOKHZAN8/18/2012

    Assalamualaikum Noor,
    In order to make the mandy spice mix, can I use fresh bay leaf instead of dried ones?

  29. Noor8/20/2012

    Wa Alaykum Salam, yea I am sure you could although I have never used them (or saw them lol)..

  30. Unknown11/11/2012

    Made this for dinner today & it was yummy.... I'm a frequent visitor to your blog and have tried quite a few recipes & all have been a big success. Thank you sooo much :-)

  31. Thank you so much for letting me know that really means a lot to me. I love to know if a recipe worked for someone.

  32. Maha Gadde12/15/2012

    super recipe....1st tiem here..nice space vth tasty recipes..
    BTW Iam back to blogging..plz visit my space n if gets sum time check out my new FB page dear.Thanks in advance..