Mandazi Recipe

African food is new for me. This Mandazi Recipe is actually the only African food I have ever made. There is a Global foods group on Instagram I am part of, to challenge myself as a foodie. This month’s challenge was African foods. It was great to do a little research and learn more about this area and their food preferences. Someday I will visit Africa!

Mandazi on a surface with ingredients on the side

Now, I was running short on time for this challenge and I needed something I already the ingredients for. In searching, I came across the idea of mandazi, I knew I needed to try it! It is a lightly sweetened fried….donut. I guess it is very similar to a beignet. I sweetened mine a little more than most recipes I saw, but only as a personal preference.

Kenyan Mandazi on a surface with ingredients on the side

Making the dough

The recipe is simple. I looked through several different recipes and combined a bunch of them to make a recipe I like. It is a straight dough method, which basically means you throw everything into the mixing bowl and mix it together. So simple!

Ingredients in a Bosch Mixer

It takes about 5-7 minutes to mix. It should be nice and smooth.

Sweetened dough in Bosch mixer

Allow to it to rise.

Mandazi Shapes

Now, it seems there are a lot of different opinions on shapes for Mandazi, but a good friend of our’s from Kenya said triangles were traditional to his area. That sounded good to me, so triangles it was. So, cut in whatever shape you prefer.

woman removing dough from a Bosch mixer

To cut into triangles, roll a rectangle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Cut the rectangle down to squares.

Woman cutting mandazi into triangles on a greased quartz countertop

Then cut each square in half on the diagonal.

dough triangles on greased counter top

Frying the Mandazi

Now, heat the oil in a cast iron skillet if you have one. I love cast iron as it holds heat so well and is an even heat. My have had my Lodge Cast Iron skillets for a very long time.

frying sweetened dough in a cast iron skillet

Now, fry the mandazi until a deep golden brown on each side.

Fried bread on surface with ingredients on side.

Meal options

From what I read, they can be eaten right away. You can make them in the evening for the next morning’s breakfast. You can also make them in the morning for breakfast and also for lunch or dinner the next day. There are tons of variations of Mandazi recipes, this is a variation adapted to our family’s preferences.

Kenyan Mandazi recipe on surface with ingredients on side.

If you are looking for a fun new global foods recipe, you should definitely check this one out! This Mandazi Recipe really is simple to make and so yummy!

Kenyan Mandazi recipe on surface with ingredients on side.

Looking for other bread recipes? I have plenty!

5 from 1 vote

Mandazi Recipe

This simple African fried food is lightly sweetened and perfect for breakfast, snacks or even a food to go along with dinner.
Course Dessert
Cuisine African
Keyword african food, african mandazi, kenyan food, kenyan mandazi, mandazi recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
resting time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Amy- A Red Spatula


  • mixing bowl, skillet for frying (preferably cast iron)


  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4- 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2-3 cups canola oil for frying


  • Combine all ingredients, minus the canola oil into mixing bowl. This can also easily be done by hand, just knead a little longer. So combine all ingredients, starting with 1 3/4 cups flour. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. You will want the dough to just slightly tacky, like barely sticky. If you need to, add in more flour. Continue to mix for another 3-5 minutes.
    Cover and allow to rise for about 45 minutes.
    Now, remove dough from bowl. Place on greased or lightly floured surface. Roll to about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. Cut as desired.
    Add canola oil to skillet and heat over medium heat to 375 degrees.
    Once the oil is heated, begin adding in the mandazi. My triangles were smaller, so I fit in about 8 in each batch. Fry until they are a deep golden brown on each side.
    When frying, I always test one. So, when it is done, remove from oil with slotted spoon. Place on a paper towel lined plate or pan. Break the test mandazi open to test for doness.
    Continue to fry remaining mandazi.
    Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!

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