Mandazis- the Swahili Bun


Mandazi are similar to doughnuts, having a little bit of a sweet taste which can be differentiated with the addition of different ingredients. However, they are typically less sweet than the doughnuts and are served without any glazing or frosting.They are frequently made triangular in shape (similar to samosas), but are also commonly shaped as circles or ovals.
Mandazi, also known as the Swahili Bun this dish is popular in the region, as it is convenient to make, can be eaten with almost any food or dips or just as a snack by itself, and can be saved and reheated for later consumption..

Our recipe was slightly changed and my mum added coconut milk to it to give it a coconut flavour.


2 cups warm water
2 tsp baking powder — or — one teaspoon dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
one-half cup sugar
one-quarter tsp spice (one or more of the following to total one-quarter teaspoon: cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, ginger)
2 tbs butter, margarine, or vegetable oil
one-quarter cup warm milk (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
pinch of salt
oil for deep frying


When calculating the nutritional information the optional ingredients were not included and 1/2 cup of oil was added to account for oil absorbed during the frying process.

All ingredients should be room temperature. If using yeast: mix the yeast with a few spoonfuls of the warm water.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder (if not using yeast), sugar, and spice (cardamom is most common in Eastern Africa). Add the yeast.

Mix the water, butter (or margarine, or oil), milk, and egg together. Gradually add this mixture to the flour while kneading into dough. (If not using milk and egg use additional water as necessary.)

Knead until a smooth and elastic dough is formed — fifteen to twenty minutes. If using yeast: Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a cloth, and allow to rise in a warm place (such as on oven that has been heated to 30 °C then turned off) for an hour or more. If using baking powder, let dough rest for several minutes.

Divide the dough into several pieces. Roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch. Cut the dough into the shape you want. (Triangles, half circles and rectangles are popular choices.) Some cooks (when using yeast) place the doughs on a cookie sheet and let them rise a second time.

Heat a few cups of vegetable oil to 300°C in a skillet or deep pot. Fry the dough in the hot oil, turning a few times, until they are golden brown all over. Fry only as many together as can float in the oil without touching one another. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve warm.

Cooked by Sushma Solanki & Meera Solanki @ A Taste of Harmony Event



Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user SZABINA.

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