Road trip to food trip: MANDI, who needs a decent food in the desert?

wondering whats cooking?

I need a decent food!!! Shout out of the day during our trip to Madaín Saleh. Decent? Civilized? Is there such a thing as civilized food? Knock me out three times but our group defines decent food as no fat, no cholesterol, and no salt, in short a “healthy food”.

We wanted to have fun so no restrictions! Diet was not in our vocab for the three days and two nights were on the trip. Carbonated drinks, chocolates, chips, nuts, hotdog, hamburger, candies, bring it on!

When we were looking for a place to stay, we came across a restaurant that  prepares “Kabsa”-an Arabic dish made of rice mixed with traditional spices, either with chicken, camel, goat or lamb.

kabsa …mandi

A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for kabsa is mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a pressure cooker.

On our first night, we went to the place but they were too busy preparing for a big gathering, we were not able to buy the kabsa , we opted for a chicken instead of Lamb.

indoor picnic

The salon of the rented apartment has a flat cushions sofa, the usual way of eating Kabsa ( i heard ) is by placing the big plate   on the floor and everyone shares, so  basically we had a picnic  inside the apartment.

happy together
the on-lookers, the man is putting spices to basmati rice (long grain)

The following night, everyone agrees, we are not going back to Jeddah without trying the “Kabsa” so we went back again to the same shop and they welcome us with an open arms.The big plate with 4 kilos meat (lamb) cost Sr 500, wow! we are not big eaters! We got the medium plate with 2 kilos of meat and one whole chicken for Sr 250.

boiling meat
flame under

They boiled the meat before putting it into the deep hole with a flame underneath.

ready meat for barbecue
o la la wanna have some Camel?
boiled meat
two men, putting the rice into a boiling spiced meat stock
wow heavy!just goofing around!

Did we survive? of course we did! A well satisfied palate and a belly of happiness. Cheers!

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Author: jamilamimi

a mother of two, professionally working as cosmetic dentist, a lover of own perception in and out.

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