Middle Eastern Food

Hadramoot Style Chicken (Mendy|المندي)

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I am consistently on the search to find unique Arabic eats even when traveling.  Recently I made a trip to Saudia Arabia (KSA) and found out that much like the US a lot of the food there is “processed”!  I was expecting food to be more organic and home grown but that is not the case with the ever modernizing Khaleegi state.  Happily I stumbled upon a Yemeni Restaurant.  It was not just a Yemeni joint but it specialized in Hadramoot style cuisine including my favorite dish called “Mendy”.  Mendy (also spelled Mandi) is a traditional Hadramoot dish consisting of basmati rice and meat such as lamb or chicken.  This is similar to roast chicken (Haneeth) but the meat is cooked in a taboon (tandoor) that is dug in the ground and covered in clay !  So basically its cooked in a clay oven under ground.

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The chicken is slow cooked with a variety of spices in the taboon (tandoor) until the meat is ready to fall off the bone.

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The might of this chicken was extremely juicy and tender.  The meat fall off the bone easily and melted in my mouth like butter.  The experience was invigorating and I can still taste the chicken when I dream.  These off the road type restaurants serve the best food and a heck of a lot better then fast food places that have become increasingly popular in the middle east.  Why would anyone want to eat processed fried chicken when you can have Mendy?

ENJOY !

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