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.

 

mandazi

 

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.

 

mandazi

 

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.

mandazi

 

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)
  • Dry coconut flakes  

A full list of the measurements is in the recipe box below.

mandazi ingredients

 

What Is Cardamom?

It has come to my attention that many people are not familiar with this spice and so I thought it would be wise to elaborate a little bit on it.

 

mandazi

 

So, what is this Cardamom,  It is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. It is also known as cardamon or cardamom.

 

How to Process Cardamom Pods Into Cardamom Powder

STEP 1: Place the cardamom pods on a chopping board and roll a rolling pin a few times over them to crush and open them.

 

mandazi

 

STEP 2: Once the pods open, extract the dark seeds and roll the rolling pin a few times over them till you achieve your desired texture of cardamom powder.

mandazi

 

How to Make Mandazi

FIRST: In a large bowl, mix all-purpose flour, coconut flakes, sugar, salt, and cardamom. Using an egg whisk, mix all the ingredients until well incorporated.

SECOND: Add lukewarm coconut milk and olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon till the dough comes together.


THIRD: Transfer the dough to a working surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes till smooth and pliable dough is achieved.


FOURTH:  If using a kneading machine, knead on low speed till the dough comes together. After that, increase the speed to medium and knead for about 8 minutes till smooth and pliable dough is achieved.

FIFTH: Allow the dough to proof for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour in a greased bowl covered with cling wrap until doubled in size.

 


SIXTH: Once proofed, punch the dough and divide it into eight equal pieces and form round balls.


SEVENTH: Proceed to roll the balls into 6” circles and slice with a pizza cutter or a knife into four triangular pieces.


EIGHTH: Place all the triangles on a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.

 

NINETH: 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 your liking.


TENTH: Finally, Serve with Chai and enjoy.

how to make 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 up to 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 up to 2 months.

 

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

 

More Tips

  • In case you exclude the coconut flakes, use only 250ml Coconut Milk.
  • Substitute Cardamom with Vanilla Flavor if you desire.
  • Dust the Mandazi with powdered sugar if you desire.

 

PIN FOR LATER

 

Other Recipes You May Like:

 

mandazi
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5 from 17 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
Keyword mandazi
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 dry coconut flakes

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix all-purpose flour, coconut flakes, sugar, salt, and cardamom. Using an egg whisk, mix all the ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Add lukewarm coconut milk and olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon till the dough comes together.
  • Transfer the dough to a working surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes till smooth and pliable dough is achieved.
  • If using a kneading machine, knead on low speed till the dough comes together. After that, increase the speed to medium and knead for about 8 minutes till smooth and pliable dough is achieved.
  • 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

  • In case you exclude the coconut flakes, use only 250ml Coconut Milk.
  • Substitute Cardamom with Vanilla Flavor if you desire.
  • Dust the Mandazi with powdered sugar if you desire.
 
 

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

 

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