Mandazi (or Maandazi, also called Mahamri or Mamri) are East African fried breads similar to doughnuts (donuts) popular in the coastal Swahili areas of Kenya and Tanzania and popular "upcountry." They are eaten with tea or coffee for breakfast, as a snack, or with the main course for lunch or dinner. They are not as sweet as U.S. style doughnuts and do not have a sugar glaze or icing.
Dish Type: Dessert
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours
- 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
All pastry ingredients should be allowed to come to room temperature if they have been in the refrigerator. 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 hand-sized pieces. Roll or press the pieces into circles about 4cm thick. Cut circles into halves or quarters (or whatever you like). 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 doughs 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.
Comment by Simba:
If you have coconut-oil at hand, deep-fry the Mandazi in coconut-oil. It gives the Mandazi that little extra taste that make them so unique and yummy.