20 April 2012

Cooking with the Mamas: Mandazis

Mamicho is from Eastern Congo, which is quite far away actually. She speaks Swahili and has a whole set of different recipes from the folks here in the west. I asked her if she’d make Mandazis for us. These are basically East Africa’s fried dough dish. Doesn’t every culture have a variation on fried dough? (Think: doughnuts, beignets, churros, koeksisters...)

She asked Mama NouNou if she could help too since she’s a baker extraordinaire. Here's her recipe and how we made them:


2 tbsp softened butter
4 tbsp sugar (add more of less sugar depending on how sweet you want them)
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp yeast
3/4 cup water

Mix butter, sugar, powered milk and flour.

Dissolve baking powder and yeast in warm water. Add to dry mixture.

Gradually mix together.

Knead 5-10 minutes until it reaches a wet dough consistency.

Cut into rectangles and let rise (about 30 minutes).

Deep fry until golden brown...and enjoy.

--We added a little bit of powdered sugar on top to sweeten them up a bit! And Adam was tempted to take one of our baby medicine droppers and inject vanilla custard. That would have been pretty delicious, but not very authentic...

Baby Charlotte chows down on mandazis in Zanzibar

Next up: A fry-off with beignets. The colonial import/fried dough treat made here in Kinshasa.


  1. My mouth is really watering NOW. Lovely post. Thanks to all the mamas and papas. (plus: Hi LouLou!)

  2. Butter.. milk... Yum! I have a similar recipe and they come out delicious! The kind we get on the street are heavy, greasy and not all that tasty. The reason? I've learned they basically use just flour, water and oil. So, you're eating a very refined version of the East African treat! : )


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