Introduction: Mandazi

Here's a treat from Kenya! These light and fluffy mandazis are perfect!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 Cup warm milk or water
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 1 egg
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Cups flour
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • oil for frying
  • flour for rolling out

    Mix up all wet ingredients and spices, then add in baking powder and add flour until you can knead the dough. Let it rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes. Roll out dough onto a floured surface and cut out your mandazi shapes. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.

More Ideas:

  • Serve with Chai or Tea
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar after frying
  • Add banana slices with sprinkled cinnamon & sugar inside the mandazi before frying
  • Add jam in the middle after frying
  • Add in other spices like allspice and ginger
  • Add in lime or lemon zest
  • Use one 13.5 oz can of coconut milk instead of milk or water (add another 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 extra cup of flour, omit lemon juice.)
  • Eggless: omit egg, use 1/2 cup hot water + 3/4 cup plain yoghurt

Step 1:

Add a 1/2 cup of warm milk or warm water to a bowl.

Step 2:

Add in about a few tablespoons to a 1/4 cup of sugar, depending on how sweet you want it. Plus a teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of salt, and some ground cardamom.

Step 3:

Add an egg, two tablespoons of lemon juice (or lime), and a tablespoon of oil and beat it together.

Step 4:

Add 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder and mix. Add flour until it turns into a dough that you can knead and it comes off the bowl. (We added about 2 cups and maybe a little extra.)

Step 5:

Cover the dough with a towel and leave it to rise in a sunny spot for at least 20 minutes (longer- like a couple of hours- is fine too).

Step 6:

After your dough has risen for a while, start heating up the oil. Heat it until it's hot on medium heat. If it's too hot it will burn the mandazi, if it's not enough, they won't cook. Let the oil heat up while you roll out your dough.

Step 7:

Separate the dough into 5 balls. Roll them out in flat circles and cut into 4 triangles. (Or whatever shape you want. The traditional shapes for mandazi are triangles or rectangles - but you can do any shape you like.)

I recommend rolling the dough out thinner- but not paper thin. See the difference in the two photos? The thicker one will be a very cakey and thick in the middle mandazi - which is okay if that's what you want. Kenyan mandazi is lighter and fluffier and airy on the inside - the thinner you roll it out, the more airy it will be in the middle. About the thickness in the last picture is just right.

Step 8:

Another yummy option! - Banana Mandazi:

Roll out the dough in a longer shape. Add a few banana slices on one end and sprinkle some cinnamon & sugar on top. Then fold the other end over and press the edges together a bit so it stays all in one piece. (It's okay if the bananas get a little squashed.)

Step 9:

Frying the Mandazi:

Drop one of your triangles in the hot oil. Let it cook for 2 seconds (literally - not long) then turn it over. Keep turning it over while it browns. When it looks like a good golden-brown color, take it out and put it on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the extra oil. While they are still hot you can sprinkle on some powdered sugar to add a little more fancy sweetness. ;)

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