East African Mandazi Recipe

Mandazi is a popular East African delicacy enjoyed by people of all ages. These delightful deep-fried doughnuts are light and fluffy

Whether you’re a fan of African cuisine or simply looking to expand your culinary horizons, learning how to make mandazi from scratch is a wonderful adventure.

In this recipe, we’ll take you through a simple, yet authentic recipe for preparing these delectable treats in the comfort of your own kitchen.


To make approximately 12 mandazis, you will need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil
  • Oil for deep frying
Photo by gorchittza2012 via Getty Images


 Prepare the Dough

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

Mix well to ensure all the dry ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Add Wet Ingredients

Create a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the milk, water, and melted butter or oil.

Stir the mixture gradually, starting from the center and incorporating the dry ingredients from the edges. Continue mixing until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms.

 Knead the Dough

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5-7 minutes.

Kneading helps develop the gluten in the dough, resulting in a softer mandazi.

If the dough becomes too sticky, add a little flour, but be careful not to add too much, as it could make the mandazis dense.

 Rest the Dough

Place the kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.

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Let it rest for about 30 minutes. This resting period allows the dough to relax and become easier to work with.

 Shape the Mandazi

After the dough has rested, lightly flour your work surface again. Take small portions of the dough and roll it out into a flat sheet, about 1/4-inch thick.

Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small squares or triangles.

 Heat the Oil

In a deep saucepan or frying pan, heat enough oil for deep frying over medium-high heat. It’s important to ensure the oil is hot but not smoking.

Fry the Mandazi

Carefully place a few pieces of the cut dough into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

Fry the mandazi until they turn golden brown on both sides, usually taking about 2-3 minutes per side.

Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the fried mandazi and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

 Serve and Enjoy

Once all the mandazi are fried and drained, they are ready to be served. These delectable treats are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.