Mandazi – an original east African doughnut recipe made of coconut and cardamom infused yeast dough.  I add coconut flakes for an intense coconut flavor, and it tastes divine.  Depending on my mood, I might add a splash of vanilla essence. Definitely, play with different flavors to make it exciting every single time.

 

What is Mandazi?

Mandazi (Swahili: Mandazi, Maandazi), is a form of fried bread that originated on the Swahili Coast. It is one of the principal dishes in the cuisine of the Swahili people who inhabit the African Great Lakes.

 

Perfectly soft and fluffy

Who can resist this perfect, soft and fluffy Mandazi? Once you make these delicious and irresistible beauties, there’ll be no going back. I promise.  They are a delight.  How light and airy they are especially if freshly made at home.  Store-bought Mandazi is not nearly as enticing as the homemade counterparts.

 

Perfect Mandazi is so easy to make at home if you have the right recipe. This one right here is the ideal recipe, and now you have it in your hands. Make it for your family and friends or just for yourself.

 

By the way, know that one batch of these beauties will disappear within seconds. However, don’t take my word for it.  Just make them and see for yourself.

 

The Origin of Mandazi (East African Doughnuts)

This recipe originates from East African Coast areas and is very popular in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar.  Although, Mandazi is also referred to as “the East African doughnut,” it is usually less sweet than the typical doughnut.

 

Mandazi and Chai is the ultimate breakfast in many Kenyan homes. Growing up in Kenya , it was very common to dunk a warm Mandazi, made fresh from the local bakery, in a hot cup of Chai (tea).

My memories of Chai and Mandazi take me all the way back to my grandmother’s kitchen during our school breaks. She would have a large pot of  Chai in the morning with accompanying tray filled with Mandazi.

 

 

mandazi

 

 

Ingredients for Mandazi 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Coconut milk (substitute with regular milk)
  • Dry yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cardamom powder
  • Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
  • Coconut flakes (fresh or dry)
  • Vanilla essence (optional)

 

How to Make Mandazi

  1. Start by adding warm water in a mixing bowl, followed by yeast and a pinch of sugar. Then, set it aside and allow the yeast to activate. In the meantime, sift the flour in a separate bowl.
  2. After 5 minutes, add coconut milk, oil, salt, cardamom powder, vanilla essence and the remaining sugar to the yeast mixture. Mix it well.
  3. Add the flour and coconut flakes in the liquid and mix with a wooden spoon till the dough comes together.
  4. Then, transfer the mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead continuously for about 3 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
  5. Allow the dough to proof for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours in a greased bowl covered with cling wrap until doubled in size.
  6. Once proofed, punch the dough to remove all the air and divide it into eight equal pieces and form round balls.
  7. Proceed to roll the balls into 6” circles and slice with a pizza cutter or a knife into four triangular pieces.
  8. Place all the triangles on a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, heat frying oil to about 370 degrees. Gently drop the Mandazi pieces into the oil, few pieces at a time, without overcrowding the pan and fry till brown to my liking.
  10. Finally, Serve with Chai and enjoy.

 

mandazi

 

How to serve Mandazi 

Mandazi is typically served  warm at tea time without any glaze or frost.  But, feel free to sprinkle some powdered sugar or smother with your favorite jam.

 

Making The Dough Ahead

If left for 12 hours at room temperature, the rise can slightly deflate, though it will still remain leavened.
 
It is better to keep it in a refrigerator. The lower temperature of the fridge slows the yeast down, causing the dough to rise more slowly.

 

Storing And Freezing Mandazi

Mandazi will keep fresh for upto 3 days at room temperature; be sure to keep them in a tightly closed container.

For longer-term storage, you should freeze in a tightly sealed container for upto 2 months.

 

To Thaw, leave overnight in the fridge or for a couple of hours on the kitchen countertop.

 

Other Recipes You May Like:

 

mandazi
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5 from 3 votes

Mandazi Recipe (Swahili Coconut Doughnut)

Mandazi, also known as the East African Doughnut is a form of fried pastry dough, which originates from East African Coast areas and is very popular in the East African region.
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine African
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 32 servings
Calories 128kcal
Author Jayne Rain

Ingredients

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for kneading)
  • 300 ml coconut milk (substitute with regular milk)
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 ltr vegetable oil (for deep frying)
  • 50 g coconut flakes (fresh or dry)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer or a mixing bowl, add the warm coconut milk, yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes and allow the yeast to proof.
  • Follow by adding the oil, salt, cardamom powder and the remaining sugar to the yeast mixture. Give a quick stir before proceeding to the next step.
  • Add the flour to the liquid and mix in a stand mixer for approximately 5 minutes scraping the sides of the mixing bowl regularly, to make sure that all the flour is incorporated.  Once the dough stops sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl, it's ready.  Don't overwork the dough.
  • If kneading by hand, add the flour in the liquid and mix with a wooden spoon till the dough comes together.
  • Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead continuously for approximately 3 minutes until a smooth.
  • Transfer the dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch the mandazi dough to remove all the air.  Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and form round balls.
  • Roll the balls into 6” circles and slice with a pizza cutter or a knife into four triangular pieces.  Feel free to cut out any other shapes of choice.  
  • Place all the triangles on a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to about 370 degrees. If the temperature is too low, the mandazi will soak up a lot of fat. If the oil is too hot, the mandazi will burn on the outside but remain raw on the inside.
  • Gently drop the mandazi pieces into the oil, few pieces at a time, without overcrowding the pan.
  • Fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, continuously flipping from one side to another.  
  • Using a large, slotted spoon, take the mandazi out of the oil and place on paper napkins to soak up the excess fat.
  • Serve mandazi with Kenyan spiced tea, Ginger tea or any beverage of your choice.

Notes

Do not overwork the dough.
Dust the mandazi with powdered sugar if desired.  
 
 

If you love this recipe, leave me a comment and share your thoughts.  I would love to hear from you. 

 

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