from: Eastern Africa | cooking method: deep frying
Mandazi (or Maandazi, also called Mahamri or Mamri) are East African fried breads similar to doughnuts (donuts) popular in the coastal Swahili areas of Kenya and Tanzania and popular "upcountry". They are eaten with tea or coffee for breakfast, for a snack anytime, and with the main course for lunch or dinner. They are not as sweet as U.S. style doughnuts and do not have a sugar glaze or icing.
What you need
- two cups warm water
- two teaspoons baking powder -- or --
one teaspoon dry yeast
- four cups all-purpose flour
- one-half cup sugar
- one-quarter teaspoon spice (one or more of the following to total one-quarter teaspoon: cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, ginger)
- two tablespoons butter, margarine, or vegetable oil
- one-quarter cup warm milk (optional)
- one egg, lightly beaten (optional)
- pinch of salt
- oil for deep frying
What you do
- All pastry ingredients should be allowed to come to room temperature if they have been in the refrigerator. If using yeast: mix the yeast with a few spoonfuls of the warm water.
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder (if not using yeast), 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. If using yeast: 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 Farenheit then turned off) for an hour or more. If using baking powder, let dough rest for several minutes.
- 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 doughs on a cookie sheet and let them rise a second time.
- Heat a few cups of vegetable oil to 300 degrees Farenheit in a skillet or deep pot. Fry the doughs 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.
- substitute yogurt for the egg and milk
- substitute coconut milk for the egg and milk (see the note about coconut milk on the Wali wa Nazi recipe page)
- add a quarter cup of dried coconut to the flour
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