One of the items that we sold at our yard sale were Kenyan doughnuts called Mandazi They are also known as Swahili Buns or Swahili Coconut Doughnuts. Mandazi are a type of fried bread which is a popular snack in Kenya. They can be eaten as a side dish with fruit flavoured dips, with chai (tea) or as a snack on their own.
Mandazi are very similar to a yeast doughnut, and is similarly then fried. One thing that makes them stand out is that often include a few teaspoons of spice such as cardamom, cinnamon, allspice or ginger. This gives them a sweet and aromatic essence to them. Some variations might also include adding coconut milk to add some sweetness or some chopped peanuts or almonds to add texture and flavour.
They are quite simple to make and when you taste them, you will understand what makes them so popular! Give this recipe a try and let us know in the comments or on Facebook how they turned out!
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp spice (one or more of the following to total one-quarter teaspoon: cardamom, cinnamon,allspice, ground ginger)
- 2 tbs butter, margarine, or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup warm milk (optional)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
- pinch of salt
- oil for deep frying
- icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- All pastry ingredients should be allowed to come to room temperature if they have been in the refrigerator. When using yeast: mix the yeast with a few spoonfuls of the warm water (105-115 F).
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, 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. 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 100 degrees Fahrenheit then turned off) for an hour or more.
- Divide the dough into several hand-sized pieces. Roll or press the pieces into circles about one-half inch thick. Cut circles into halves or quarters (or whatever you like). Some cooks (when using yeast) place the dough on a cookie sheet and let them rise a second time.
- Heat a few cups of vegetable oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit 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.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired
(Recipe courtesy of http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Kenyan_Mandazi)
(Header photo from Goway Agent News)