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East African Mandazi/Mahamri Recipe

Cooking is a hobby for me. As a trained chef, I appreciate food that is healthy and tasty.

Mandazi/mahamri is a popular East African snack.

Mandazi/mahamri is a popular East African snack.

What Is Mandazi/Mahamri?

Mandazi/mahamri is a popular East African snack that is similar to a lightly sweetened donut or fried bread. It can be eaten any time of day, but it is especially common for breakfast or with afternoon tea.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

30 min

1 hour

Serves six people


  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (for mandazi), or 1 teaspoon yeast (for mahamri)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • Oil, for frying


  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a wide bowl.
  2. Pour the milk or buttermilk slowly into the flour mixture as you knead to form a soft dough.
  3. Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Knead the dough again and divide into 4 big balls.
  5. Roll the dough and cut to the desired shape. For mandazi/mahamri with a fleshy crust, roll out a thick dough. If you prefer those that are hollow, roll out a thin dough.
  6. Heat oil in a deep frying pan and fry the cut shapes for an average of 2 minutes, until they're golden brown.
  7. Serve with your favourite beverage or stew.
  8. Note: If you wish, you can substitute cinnamon or lemon zest for the coconut.

© 2019 Chef Sherrie