Mandi (food)

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Homemade mandi from Saudi Arabia,
Alternative names المندي
Course Lunch or dinner
Place of origin Hadhramaut
Region or state Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and United Arab Emirates
Main ingredients Rice, meat (lamb or chicken), and a mixture of spices

Mandi (Arabic: المندي‎) is a traditional dish from Yemen[1] of meat, rice, and spices. It is also eaten in some gulf nations. It is now very popular in other areas of the Arabian Peninsula, and it is also common in Egypt and Levant and Turkey. It is also popular among the Hadhrami people in the Malabar region of Kerala, Bhatkal of Karnataka, as well as Barkas and areas around Hyderabad, India. The word "mandi" comes from the Arabic word nada, meaning "dew", and reflects the moist 'dewy' texture of the meat.[2]

Mandi is usually made from rice, meat (lamb or chicken), and a mixture of spices. The meat used is usually a young and small sized lamb to enhance the taste further. The main thing which differentiates Mandi from other meat dishes is that the meat is cooked in the tandoor (taboon in Arabic), which is a special kind of oven. The tandoor is usually a hole dug in the ground and covered inside by clay.[3] To cook mandi, dry wood is placed in the tandoor and burned to generate a lot of heat turning into charcoal. The meat is then suspended inside the tandoor without touching the charcoal. After that, the whole tandoor is closed but an airvent is given to remove excess smoke. Raisins, pine nuts, or peanuts can be added to the rice as per one's taste.

The meat is first boiled with whole spices until tender. The spiced stock is then used to cook the Basmati rice. The boiled meat is then put into the 'tandoor' to roast and crisp. When the rice is done the final part would be to smoke the rice by adding a piece or charcoal amber onto some cooking oil on a metal dish and put into the rice and cover to smoke for about 10 minutes.

Mandi is considered the main dish served during special events, such as Eid, weddings, and feasts.

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