Mandazi (East African Coconut Doughnuts) Recipe

Mandazi are coconut donuts that are traditionally served alongside bharazi, or pigeon peas stewed in coconut cream, although they're also wonderful enjoyed all by themselves.

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Photograph: Jillian Atkinson

No matter what you think when you read this recipe, if you’ve never tried these light fluffy donuts, we promise you they are worth the effort. Mandazi are a great snack on their own but we love them paired with bharazi. The mandazi are the perfect vehicle for soaking up every last bit of the delicious bharazi sauce.

Recipe by Noorbanu Nimji, from A Spicy Touch, copyright © 2020 by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions.

Recipe Facts

Active: 75 mins
Total: 9 hrs 15 mins
Makes: 12 large doughnuts

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 50 grams pure creamed coconut (see note)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon coarsely ground green cardamom seeds
  • Sunflower oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Place the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and yeast and let it develop for 10 minutes.

  2. Dissolve the coconut cream in the water.

  3. Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom and yeast mixture.

  4. Stir the coconut cream into the mixture gradually and then knead it to make pliable dough.

  5. Let the dough rest, covered, overnight.

  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll each into a 6-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick.

  7. Cut each circle into quarters.

  8. Let the dough rest on a floured surface or on a tray until it rises, about 1 hour or until double in size.

  9. Deep-fry the pieces in the sunflower oil on medium heat, about 375°F, until golden brown.

  10. Remove the donuts with a slotted spoon to a waiting paper towel-lined baking tray.

  11. Enjoy these with bharazi or on their own.

Notes

You can substitute the thick cream that rises to the top of canned coconut milk as a substitute for pure creamed coconut.

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