Chicken Mandy

{bon appetite}

{perfect golden chicken that cooks with its on fat}
{let’s 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 the 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 in the middle. Carefully place chicken around the pan. Add coal onto the butter and quickly shut the lid. Allow to smoke for 15 minutes. Serve.

Yields: 3 servings


  • jared says:

    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

  • Noor says:

    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 :)

  • sdrkhn says:

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

  • Noor says:

    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 :)..

  • Arrwa says:

    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

  • Noor says:

    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.

  • Anonymous says:

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

  • Noor says:

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

  • Sarah Muhammad says:

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

  • Noor says:

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

  • Larasepi says:

    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

  • Noor says:

    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 :)

  • UmmBinat says:

    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.

  • Noor says:

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

  • Saud Al says:

    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!

  • Saud Al says:

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

  • Noor says:

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

  • says:

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

  • Noor says:

    Yea I would.

  • Man Bucit says:

    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.


  • Noor says:

    I am happy your family enjoyed this.

  • bshamaker says:

    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.

  • Noor says:

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

  • Zarasalim says:

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

  • Noor says:

    Possibly but I have never tried it.

  • Arvind says:

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

  • Arvind says:

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


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

  • Noor says:

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

  • Unknown says:

    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 :-)

  • Noor says:

    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.

  • Maha Gadde says:

    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..

  • rosnizah says:

    salam nor. I read a few times bt just still cudnt register ths simple instruction – plc d onion shell with butter (got tht clear as a whistle…LOL)……..ADD COAL ONTO BUTTER……… hmmm….isn’t d coal not “lit” yet? so how wl d “smoke flavour suddenly “appear”. I know ths may sounds silly bt pls explain it in the “SIMPLEST FORM”…hehe. syukran jazakillah ya ukhti

    • Noor says:

      Light your coal (you do so by getting it red hot on a oven eye) and then drop it into the butter and close the lid tight. The hot coal mixed with the butter makes the smoke. I hope that helps :)

  • Ines says:

    Asalaamu Alaikum Noor, The youtube link for your chicken mandy is set as private, will you make this public to view?

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam oh thank you for telling me I did that by accident. I have fixed it now:

  • Ines says:

    Asalaam Alaikum Noor and Mubarak Ramadan! First time making this dish, it is delicious. My son is a picky eater , as well is my niece and they absolutely loved this dish. I was concerned about the how the spices would blend together but it turned out perfectly. I was not able to access coal (the link for the website you have no longer sells the coal., please let me know if you have another site to suggest) for the smoking process however I did use wood charcoal which did the trick. The flavors of the chicken reminded me a bit of jamaican jerk chicken but without the hot scotch bonnet pepper. I am so thankful that your recipes are a source of inspiration in my kitchen. Your chicken kabsa is next on my list.!!

  • Noor says:

    Wa Alaykum Salam, alhumdullah I am glad the kids loved it I have a VERY PICKY 5 year old as well so trust me I know how that is. Yea the spices smell strong but they really work out well. You can buy the coals at any Middle Eastern store or any online just search for Bukhoor coals (get the smokeless). I have never used wood but I bet it is even better bc in the south we smoke stuff with wood flavored chips yummy.

    I am really glad that you like my recipes alhumdullah and it looks like you have the same taste as me bc Mandy is always my Ramadan first than kabsa lol. Try the saleeq the picky kids always love that one :)

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  • Marwa says:

    Asalaamu Alaikum , The youtube link for your chicken mandy is set as private, will you make this public to view?

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam Ahh I am so sorry. I opted out of Google plus and since everything is connected to google now it seems to have messed with my Youtube. I am fixing it now :)

  • Suzan says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it and the rice and chicken both tasted AMAZING! Only thing I wanted to ask about is it felt like the chicken could have been cooked more thoroughly. Is there a way I can boil the chicken first, and then use its broth to cook the rice? I’m just trying to find a way to cook the chicken all the way through..

    • Noor says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed it. You should not stop cooking the chicken until it is thoroughly cooked through. I have never had issues with that since I always check to make sure.

  • umyousef says:

    Noor, thanks for a fantastic recipe!! Tried today….you are right! This is the best authentic tasting mandy rice I have eaten so far….sooooo easy but sooooooo goooood. A definite keeper.

    • Noor says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed it alhumdullah. This recipe is so good and I always make it during Ramadan.

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