Mandazi Recipe

These light and fluffy East African donuts - called Mandazi (or Mahambri) - are addictive pillows of joy and we grew up devouring them!

Mandazi's are typically eaten for breakfast alongside a traditional dish called Bharazi (pigeon peas in coconut sauce). The slightly sweet Mandazi's combined with the savouriness of Bharazi is wonderful.

However, our favourite way to eat Mandazi is with a cup of tea or just on their own when they are warm.

My recipe is a quick and easy one, and it's vegan too! In Tanzania and Kenya, they use more traditional methods, like extracting pure coconut milk from freshly grated young coconuts and kneading the dough by hand. But for the sake of simplicity and in the absence of traditional tools, I use tinned coconut milk and an electric mixer.

This recipe yields 18 Mandazi's.

Ingredients: 1 cup plain white flour 3 tbsps caster sugar 1.5 tsp ground cardamom 1.5 tsp instant yeast 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil

Half a cup of warm coconut milk

Additional white flour for rolling the dough (a few tbsps approx)

Additional oil for deep frying


Put the first 5 ingredients into an electric mixer and blend ingredients together well. Stop the mixer and scrape the ingredients from the sides every now and then and until a good crumb forms.

Then slowly add the warm coconut milk (you might not need it all) a bit at a time. As you add more coconut milk, the dough will begin to bind. Continue until the dough has formed - it should be very slightly sticky and stretchy.

Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a round ball with the help of a little flour. The dough should feel very slightly damp but not sticky at this stage. Mix in a little flour if it is sticky. You want a smooth round ball.