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Roz Mendi (Spiced Rice with Chicken)

Roz Mendi rice topped with backed chicken

I have got to say that my mom has been dishing out some delicious authentic Middle Eastern cuisine this past week while she is in town. I haven’t eaten this much rice in a long time but those calories are so worth it when it comes to mama’s cooking. While she is here, I decided to share with you all these yummy recipes. One of them is this spiced rice that is actually cooked in the oven! The chicken is also cooked on top of the rice; so its a really cool concept that packs a lot of flavor. I also share a simple salsa to be eaten with this dish; you can use it with other rice dishes as well.

Servings: 8 people

Total Time: 2 hours



1 whole chicken (about 4 – 5 pounds)

 1 tbsp vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 package Sazon seasoning

1-2 tbsp lemon pepper

Salt to taste

1 lemon’s juice

1-2 tbsp paprika

1/4 cup olive oil

1-2 tbsp garlic powder


  • Cut the chicken down the center into halves. Wash it really well with water. Then put it in a salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar bath to clean for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse again. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Season the chicken with the above seasoning on both sides. Rub it all in together and get it under the chicken skin too.

Roz Mendi


2 cups of Basmati Rice

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp biryani spice

1/2 tbsp allspice

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cinnamon stick

6 bay laves

8 cardamoms

2 dried limes/lemons

2 tbsp olive oil or butter

3 cups of boiling water


  • Soak the rice in water for 10-15 minutes. Drain from the water. Then add all the above spices and mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Then place rice in baking pan. I used a pyrex. Spread it all out. Add the 3 cups of boiling water. Make sure water is covering the rice. Cover it with two layers of aluminum foil. Poke the foil with a toothpick throughout the entire surface.
  • Gently place the chicken halves on top of the aluminum that has been poked with holes. Cover that with another layer of aluminum foil very well.
  • Place in preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Check at 1 hour to see if chicken is cooked. Cooking time depends on size of chicken.
  • In the meantime, make the salsa below.


1 tomato

1 small onion

1/2 a jalapeno

3 garlic cloves

1 tsp ginger paste or minced ginger

Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup cilantro

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil


  • Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor for about a minute.

Roz Mendi

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  1. This recipe is absolutely delicious! Every bite of rice is just packed with flavor! It has become my favorite go to recipe when I have family coming over.

  2. Another amazing recipe!!! I will definitely be making it again, even the fussy teenagers loved it. I had to make a few adjustments for spices due to unavailability still turned out perfect 👌🏼

  3. Absolutely delicious!!! I’ve tried about 4-5 diff recipes of mendi and it never came out right. This was as my husband said “a major goal” 😂 Alhamdillah

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