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Mandi is the traditional dish in Yemen native to Hadhramaut Province, Yemen. It is now very popular in the rest of the Arabian Peninsula and in many other Arab countries such as Egypt and Syria.

Left: Homecooked mandi, Hadhramaut, Yemen.

Mandi is usually made from meat (lamb or chicken), basmati rice, 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, which is a special kind of oven. Tandoor usually is 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 of the tandoor is closed without letting any of the smoke to go outside. Raisins and pine nuts can be added to the rice as per one's taste.

Mandi is considered as the main dish served in special events such as weddings and feasts.


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