Mandi is a Yemeni style of cooking chicken or meat over rice. A special underground oven commonly used and widely available in the region is used. Basically, the chicken or meat is spiced and cooked over a pot of rice and water. As the chicken or meat cooks, it drips its juices and flavor onto the simultaneously cooking pot of rice.
This is a home-friendly version of mandi where you do not need to track down and ship an underground oven for. A make-shift double-layer arrangement is made using heavy duty foil, all comfortably fitting in your own regular oven. To lend an extra-special smoky flavor, a red hot coal is dropped in a small aluminium bloat with some oil. This is placed in the middle of the rice and chicken, and quickly covered to let the smoke infuse into the food. Adapted from Niv's gold-mine of a blog here.
3 cups basmati rice
2 Tbsp ghee
2 tomatoes, rough chop
1 onion, diced
2 sticks cinnamon
10 pieces whole cloves
3 bay leaves
3 fresh chili pepper (optional)
10 whole cardamoms
5 cups chicken broth
3 tsp salt
1 chicken, quartered
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground lumi (dried lime)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 ground turmeric
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 lemon, juice
In a small bowl mix all the chicekn ingredients together: chicken, spices, lemon juice and oil.
Massage chicken pieces with the spices mixture, let marinate refrigerated overnight or a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a pan, sear the chicken pieces to a golden brown on each side. Set aside.
In the same pan, sauté onion in the ghee until translucent.
In a large oven safe baking dish, mix the cooked onion, tomatoes, rinsed and drained rice and all the whole spices and the broth. Taste the broth to adjust salt
Make some slashes on the chili pepper and add it on top of the rice
Cover the baking dish with heavy duty aluminum foil
Poke holes in the foil with a barbecue skewer, and place chicken on top of the foil
Bring another piece of foil, and cover chicken tightly and completely with it to prevent steam from escaping.
Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 90 minutes.
Before serving, take a small cup-shaped aluminum and place it on the surface in the middle of the rice and chicken.
Put 2 Tbsp oil. Heat a piece of coal until red-hot, quickly put it in the oil cup and seal the dish with a large sheet of foil to trap the smoke.Let stand for 5 minutes to infuse, uncover, discard the foil and coal (CAREFUL! Make sure to throw water over it as it might cause a fire if you throw it in the garbage while still hot!).
To serve, take aluminum foil off, spoon the rice in the serving dish with chicken pieces on top.
صحة و عافية