Arabian Chicken Mandi

YIELD: 5-6 Servings

TOTAL TIME: 2.5 hours


For the mandi spice mix:

  • Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoon

  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

  • Cloves - 10

  • Black peppercorns - 1 teaspoon

  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Cinnamon sticks - 4 small

  • Cardamom - 8

  • Black cardamom - 1 (optional)

  • Nutmeg - 1 (small piece)

  • Salt to taste

  • Paprika powder / red chili powder - 1 teaspoon

  • Lemon juice - 2 teaspoon

  • Chat masala - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Ginger powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)

  • Olive oil/vegetable oil - 1 teaspoon

  • Saffron water half (soak 4 strands of saffron in half a cup of water) (optional)

For the mandi chutney:

  • Tomatoes: 4 roughly chopped and deseeded

  • Garlic: 4 cloves

  • Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

  • Fresh cilantro: a handful

  • Mint leaves: 4-5

  • Green chillies: 2 (chopped)

  • Black pepper powder: 1/4th tsp

  • Cumin powder: 1/4th tsp

  • Salt to taste

For the rice:

  • 500 gm basmati rice

  • Water: 6 glasses

  • Oil as required

  • Onion: 1 medium (finely chopped)

  • Green chillies: 2 finely chopped

  • Prepared mandi spice powder

  • Cashews: 8-10

  • Almonds: 8-10

  • Raisins: 8-10

  • Charcoal (optional) for smoky flavour


  1. Grind coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cloves cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg into a fine powder and remove a quarter of the spice mix into a separate bowl and set aside.

  2. To the remaining three quarters of the spice mix add salt, paprika, lemon juice, chat masala, ginger powder, olive oil and saffron water. Mix well into a fine paste and set aside.

  3. Divide the chicken into four parts and coat with the prepared paste.

  4. Let it marinate for 2 hours.

  5. Meanwhile, make your mandi chutney by grinding all the ingredients mentioned for the chutney into a fine paste and set aside.

  6. Now wash and soak basmati rice in water for 1 hour.

  7. In a deep vessel add 1.5 litre of water and place a strainer on top. Place the marinated chicken on the strainer and steam till chicken is tender, as shown in the image below.

  1. Save the chicken stock for cooking rice.

  2. Now fry the steamed chicken in 2 tbsp oil till crisp and set aside.

  3. In a separate pan fry some cashews, almonds, raisins in butter till golden brown.

  4. Heat some oil in a cooking pan and add chopped onions, green chillies and saute for 2-3 mins.

  5. Then add the spice powder that was kept aside , some salt, and chicken stock (6 glasses).

  6. When the water starts to boil, add the soaked rice and cook till almost done. Now add the saffron water and place the fried chicken on top.

  7. To give the rice a smoky flavour, place some burnt charcoal in the middle and add some butter on top. Cover with a lid and let the rice absorb all the smoke from the charcoal. At this point the flame should be low.

  8. Check if the rice is cooked and switch off the flame.

  9. Garnish mandi with fried nuts, coriander leaves and serve hot with the prepared mandi chutney.


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