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  • Writer's pictureAngela, Digital Chef, Africa Analyst

Mandazi - Swahili fried donut

Mandazi originates from the Swahili Coast. In the cuisine of the people of Swahili that inhabits the coastal Region of - Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya. It acts as one of their main dishes.

It is a form of fried bread and is convenient to make and can be reheated later. It can be taken or eaten with any dips, food, and as a snack by itself.

In western African countries like Nigeria and Ghana, Mandazi is also known as puff-puff or bofrot. It is also known as Swahili coconut doughnut, mahamri/mamri, made with coconut milk and cocunut sprinkles.

Mandazi should be served at warm or room temperature.

Ingredients used in Mandazi preparation

Water, flour, yeast, sugar, and milk. Other ingredients that can be added are peanuts, almonds, and coconut milk.

Flavor Profile/Texture

Mandazi tastes like doughnuts, but they have a bit of a sweet taste because of different ingredients. They are also different from doughnuts because they are not glazed or served with frosting.

Mandazis are similar to samosas, and they are usually triangularly shaped but can sometimes be shaped in ovals or circles.

Mandazi has a fluffy texture after it is well prepared.

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients needed for Mandazi preparation

· 2 cups of water

· One tablespoon of dry yeast or two tablespoons of baking powder

· One and a half cup of sugar

· 4 cups of flour

· Two tablespoons of butter or margarine

· A quarter tablespoon of cardamom.

· A quarter cup of milk

· A pinch of salt

· One slightly beaten egg.

· Vegetable oil

All ingredients should be at room temperature


  1. Mix the flour, sugar, spice, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Then add a few spoonful of warm water to mix the yeast if you are using it.

  2. Add the yeast after that.

  3. In a separate bowl - mix the water, milk, butter, and egg.

  4. Add the content of the milk mixture to the flour and knead into a dough.

  5. Keep kneading gradually for approximately fifteen minutes until you have an elastic and smooth dough.

  6. If you are using yeast, put the dough in a clean bowl and cover it with a clean cloth. Allow it to rise in a place that is warm for approximately an hour. If you are using baking powder, allow the dough to rest for several minutes.

  7. Cut the dough into several pieces that are hand-sized.

  8. Roll the pieces you cut into circles of about two inches thick or less. Cut the circles after that into halves or quarters or to your preference. You can leave the doughs on a plate to rise again.

  9. Fry the doughs in a deep pot or skillet that contains a heated vegetable oil of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

  10. Fry till they turn golden brown all over. Ensure you stir and turn them over, so they do not get burnt.

  11. Remove and drain them on paper towels.

  12. Serve anyhow you want, top off with powdered sugar/cocoa, warm syrup, or whatever you prefer.

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