Mandazi/Swahili buns from Kenya

By Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen - Friday, September 12, 2014

Today we are visiting Kenya today, a country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, which along with Uganda and Tanzania is famous for its safaris and diverse wildlife reserves and national parks such as the East and West Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park. 
When looking for their cuisine and food, i landed here,while going through the list, which offered a variety to pick from, i  immediately decided to do this Mandazi/Swahili buns. First reason, it is bread and secondly doughnuts made out of coconut milk. Anything with coconut milk has a richer aroma and taste that everyone would agree, so i wanted to try this for our evening snack for the  weekend.
Mandazi, also known as the Swahili Bun or Swahili Coconut Donut is a form of fried bread that originated on the Swahili Coast. It is one of the principal dishes in the cuisine of the Swahili people who inhabit the African Great Lakes.The dish is popular in the region, as it is convenient to make, can be eaten with almost any food or dips or just as a snack by itself, and can be saved and reheated for later consumption.
Source : African Bites
3 cups all purpose flour 
3 tablespoons of freshly ground coconut or dessicated coconut
1.5 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
6 tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
oil for deep frying

  • In a measuring jug, take coconut milk, instant yeast and sugar together and mix well. Set aside.
  • Take flour, coconut, salt, cardamom powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Whisk well to combine. Now slowly add the coconut milk-yeast mixture to this and start kneading to make a dough.
  • Add 1/4 cup of warm water to this and knead well to get a smooth dough. The dough will be a bit sticky, add little flour and knead well to a smooth and soft dough.
  • Let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Yes, it takes 2 hours for the dough to rise. So,please be patient, the aroma of kneaded dough, will be so mesmerizing, you will feel like eating the raw dough as such, seriously, i m not joking!!!
  • After 2 hours or after the dough has visibly doubled, flip over a floured counter, punch it down, divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll out each portion into a cirlce of 6 inches in diameter.
  • Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife divide the dough to 8 triangle pieces. Repeat the same for the rest of the dough. I made the last piece of dough into bite-size squares for my lil one nibble.
  • Let the cut pieces rest for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a deep pan for frying. When the oil is hot enough, (i.e.) when a piece of dough drooped into oil sizzles up immediately, drop 2-3 pieces of mandazi at time and deep fry on both the sides until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
  • Serve it warm dusted with powdered sugar and experience heaven!!! Everybody at home starting from  my lil one to my hubby, brother and his wife enjoyed these cuties, the flavor of coconut milk and coconut in the dough took these doughnuts to another level. 
Sending these cuties to Come, join us for breakfast, happening +srivalli jetti 's space.


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  1. Coconut and those spices must have given a unique taste to the buns. Beautiful clicks...

  2. Awesome! They puff up so well when they are fried! Beautiful golden brown crust. Enjoying your posts

  3. Mandazi are dangerously addictive,had a chance to taste these Kenyan donuts long back.

  4. They are surely inviting. Yummy choice. Initially I had this planned for Kenya and somehow had to shift to another dish planned for another country. :)

  5. You nailed the sugar powder shower this time! With all the coconut; ground coconut and coconut milk, it must have tasted divine.

  6. oh my you reminded me this tempting triangular sweet bread which made for mega BM last year :) They are truly addictive with coconut flavor in it :) wonderful clicks there priya :)

  7. What a yummy treat from Kenya. I can imagine how good these must have tasted. Awesome clicks Priya especially the one with the sieve & the one with your son's hand..

  8. Wow! The coconut milk flavor would have been awesome. Love it.

  9. Priya what a delicious looking snack!..and you literally went down with a scale! girl you are rocking!

  10. I made a version of this some time back but a banana version - yours look perfectly light and delicious

  11. i see the use of coconut in this and i am sure that it would have tasted yum..we make some thing similar in looks for a festival, but with a recipe which is poles apart..looks stunning.

  12. Looks so yum. I love the use of coconut milk.


Thanks a Lot for taking your time out and Visiting my Kitchen!!!!! Your Valuable Comments keep me going!!! Feel free to ask your doubts , i will definitely try reply you back. Good Day!!!