Recipe: mandazi, from Maskani

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Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 00:00

Maskani was often a popular stall at our special Africa Utopia festival food market, not least due to the enticing aromas of the East African sweet treat, mandazi. Eric Mugaju, the Ugandan chef behind the london-based East African street-food stall Maskani, shares his recipe for this distinctive doughnut.

These East African coconut doughnuts also happen to be vegan!
Eric Mugaju


Africa Utopia - Maskani Mandazi
This recipe makes about 30 bite-sized mandazi
  • 360g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 7 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 rounded tsp ground cardamom powder
  • 175ml thick coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 100ml warm water
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Mix the yeast and 1 tsp sugar in a mug with the warm water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and set aside to allow the yeast to activate (even if you buy fast-action yeast, it's worth doing this step as it makes the mandazi even fluffier)
  2. In a bowl, mix the remaining sugar with coconut milk, cardamom powder and 1tbsp oil. Stir to dissolve the sugar
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and make a well in the centre. Once the yeast mixture has started to bubble add it, along with the other liquids, to the flour
  4. Mix to form a dough which feels soft, but is firm enough to be handled. Gradually add more flour if needed
  5. Flour a work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes
  6. Place back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp clean tea towel and set somewhere warm to rise for 20 minutes 
  7. Start to heat the frying oil in a deep pan. You should not fill the pan with more than 2/3 oil
  8. Remove the dough, and roll out onto a surface until it is about 1/2" thick. Cut the dough into diamond shapes about 1.5" long
  9. Test the oil by dropping one piece into the pan. If it bubbles and the dough rises to the surface, it is hot enough
  10. Fry your mandazi in batches of 10, turning to ensure they cook evenly. When the mandazi turn a golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen towel to drain
  11. Enjoy fresh, or save them for another day! You can eat them hot or cold and they'll keep for up to three days in an airtight container.




Every weekend, from Friday to Sunday, you’ll find fantastic street food creations from around the world at Southbank Centre Food Market.

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