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Mandy Rice

Mandy Rice

Mandy Rice ala Athene


  • 2 chicken, quartered
  • 2 tbsp Athene Spice Lab Mandy Spice Mix
  • 8 green chillies
  • 4 large onion/ 150g shallots
  • 10-12 garlic pips
  • 60g coriander leaves, roots and stalk cleaned properly
  • 150ml plain yogurt
  • 1800ml water
  • 1kg basmati rice, soaked for 45 minutes and drained
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom (it’s a wonderful addition if you can find it) 
  • 5 drops of yellow food coloring
  • 1 aluminum pies foil
  • 1 small chuck of charcoal
  • 1tbsp of oil


  1. Pound or grind the onion, garlic, chili and coriander leaves, stalk and roots.
  2. Add the Athene Spice Lab Mandy Spice Mix to the ground onion mix and add to the yogurt.
  3. Rub all over the chicken. Marinate for at least two hours, preferably overnight in the fridge.
  4. Boil the chicken with the marinate in water, until the chicken are cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken from the stock, set aside and keeping it warm. 
  6. Measure the stock, it usually requires approximately about 1800ml for every kg of soaked basmati rice.
  7. Taste the stock, correct the flavor now, adding salt if required. Rule of thumb is that the stock need to be as salty as the sea water, but it’s all up to your taste.
  8. Reheat the stock until it’s boiling. Add the rice and stir the pot gently as not to break the rice grain, make sure no rice is stuck at the bottom of the pot.
  9. When the water is level with the rice, usually in about 8 minutes, stir the rice once more, drizzle with the rose water & orange blossom water (if using). This is also when you randomly drop the yellow food coloring to give the rice some color.
  10. Lower the heat to minimum, I usually place an old flat aluminum pot cover on the fire to really ensure an even and low heat distribution.
  11. Line the edges of the pot with moist cloth or towel before covering the pot to create a good seal. Set something heavy on top if you wish to create a vacuum-like environment.
  12. Leave to cook for about 25 minutes or until you can see some steam coming out from the edge of the pot.
  13. While waiting for the rice to cook, you can set the charcoal to ember. Place it in the aluminum pie foil. If you don’t have the pie foil, you can fashion one using regular aluminum foil, just make sure it’s double layered.
  14. When the rice is cooked, gently loosen up the rice.
  15. Place the foil on the rice in the pot, spoon over the oil. This will produce a lot of smoke that will give the rice a wonderful ‘cook-in-the-earth’ flavor. Cover the lid immediately and set aside until you are ready to serve, but no less than 15 minutes.
  16. Dish out the rice, placing the chicken on top of it. Serve with Salata Harra.

Note : 

  • I sometimes fry the chicken just before serving to add more flavor to it. The chicken will brown well real fast, so you can use high heat while frying, after all the chicken is already cooked. You can also drain the onion and chili mix after making the stock, squeezing out all the liquid and later you can fry it along with the chicken for an added crunch. 
  • Or just oven roast the chicken after boiling for a healthier crispy alternative.
  • You can also use the oil from frying the chicken when making the smoke pack for the rice. The smoke will be far more fragrant this way.  
  • Wash basmati rice with at least 3 change of water to properly clean it.
  • I can't remind people enough to handle the rice as gentle as possible while washing and soaking, the long grained basmati rice can be very fragile especially after washing and soaking. If you break them, you won't get the much coveted long grained mandy rice.
  • If you must have ghee in your Mandy rice, melt some ghee and drizzle over the rice before smoking the rice.

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