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Mandazi – How To Make African “Donuts”

Mandazi is one of the popular African dishes you will find in the great lakes of East Africa’s coastal regions inhabited by the Swahili community. A breakfast with tea can be served as an appetizer before lunch, or even a soft late night dinner to entertain your stomach ache before going to bed.


  • 2 glasses of warm water.
  • 2 teaspoons. baking powder.
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 1/2 cup sugar.
  • 2 tsps. vegetable oil.
  • A pinch of salt.

Preparing the Dough

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and sugar.

Mix the water and vegetable oil. Gradually add flour to this mixture while kneading the dough. Use additional water if needed.

Knead for about fifteen to twenty minutes until a smooth and elastic dough is formed.

Let the dough stand for a few minutes.

Divide all the dough into six equal round balls.

Spread each ball on a flat surface, keeping the circular shape of the dough.

Divide the flattened dough into four equal quadrants.

Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you open and cut out all the round balls.

Place all the dough dials on a cookie sheet. This prevents the dough pieces from sticking together.

If you are someone who likes to add some softness to their food or snacks, I recommend adding some egg and milk while making the dough.

You can also use granulated yeast instead of baking powder, but you should allow more time for the dough to rise before it is spread and cut.

Fried Dough

Heat several glasses of vegetable oil to 400F – 500F in a skillet or deep saucepan.

Carefully put the dough dials in hot oil.

With CautionTurn the dough several times until it is completely browned.

Just fry until they can float in oil without touching each other.

Once completely fried, take it out and place it on a paper towel to drain.


Let it cool down and drain most of the oil in Mandazi.

Serve on a plate with tea in the morning.

When serving, you can serve it with some kind of dipping sauce and it works almost with all known sauces.

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