Planning an elaborate weekend meal? Try this fragrant and wholesome Yemeni chicken rice

Unlike popular belief, a ditch is not really necessary to cook delicious kuzhi mandi. Photo: Thai Liang Lim/iStock

Kuzhi mandi has gained immense popularity in the culinary scene in Kerala quite easily. It is a wholesome dish and is perfect to be enjoyed with family and friends. However, it is not possible to visit hotels every time you wish to enjoy kuzhi mandi.

Unlike popular belief, a ditch is not really necessary to cook delicious kuzhi mandi. Check out the pretty simple recipe of tasty Yemeni kuzhi mandi aka chicken rice that could be cooked at home for this weekend.

1 kg chicken
1 tbsp pepper corns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 garlic cloves
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
¾ tbsp cumin seeds
Salt as required
Olive oil as required
For the mandi
1 onion
1 bell pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cumin
4 cloves
½ tbsp pepper corns
4 cardamom pods
1 dried lemon
4 garlic cloves
2 -3 green chilies
2 cups sella basmati rice

Powder the pepper corns, cumin, coriander seeds, garlic, Kashmiri chili powder and salt
Mix this powder with some olive oil
Meanwhile, rub salt and lemon juice on the chicken and marinate overnight to soften the meat
You could add a drop of yellow food colour in the spice mix if required
Cut the chicken in half and score the meat
Marinate the chicken with the masala paste
Keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for at least 45 minutes
Heat vegetable oil in a thick bottomed and deep vessel
Sauté onions and bell pepper
Add all the masala powders and spices
Sauté well
Pour 1 ½ cups water into this vessel
Add salt too
Now add the rice; there is no need to soak the rice
Mix well
Cover the mouth of the vessel using at least three sheets of aluminium foil
Poke holes on the aluminium sheet
Place the marinated chicken on top of it
Cover again using three sheets of aluminium foil
Cook for half an hour on medium flame and then for 15 minutes on low flame
Now keep the chicken with the rice
Take a small piece of charcoal in a bowl
Pour some ghee into it
Keep this bowl in the vessel
Close the lid and set aside for ten minutes
The chicken and rice would absorb the smoky flavour
Serve the fragrant rice and the chicken on top
Yemeni chicken mandi could be served with mayonnaise and mint chutney.

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