Mandi Is the traditional dish of Hadhramaut and many other Yemeni cities, such as Marab, Sana’a, It is now very popular in the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, The word mandi comes from the Arabic word nada, meaning dew, and reflects the moist ‘dewy’ texture of the meat.
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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 is that the meat is cooked in the tandoor (taboon in Hadhrami), which is a special kind of oven. The tandoor is usually a hole dug in the ground and covered inside by clay. To cook mandi, dry wood is placed in the tandoor and burned to generate a lot of heat turning into charcoal. Then the meat is suspended inside the tandoor without touching the charcoal. After that, the whole tandoor is closed without letting any of the smoke out. Raisins, pine nuts, or peanuts can be added to the rice as per one’s taste.
Mandi is considered the main dish served during special events, such as Eid, weddings.