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How to Make Coconut Mahamri/Mandazi

Mahamri/Mandazi are an East African doughnut like sweet bread. They go well with hot tea and coffee. Mostly taken at breakfast time but can also be eaten at any time of the day. They go well with a variety of beef stews too.

Step by step guide on how to make Mahamri /Mandazi


To make around 30 Mahamri/Mandazi depending on their sizes, find the ingredients below.

  • 4 cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom powder
  • 1.5 cups heavy coconut milk
  • Oil for deep frying preferably Sunflower oil.


STEP 1: Make the Dough.

Sieve the flour, add in the yeast directly into it. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom to it. Warm the coconut milk for about 20 seconds and start kneading the flour with it adding a little at a time until you have a good soft (but firm, not sticky) dough. Add in a few drops of vanilla essence and knead it for about 15 minutes, pounding it as much as possible. To check that it’s been kneaded enough, roll it into a ball and using a sharp knife, make a deep slit through it, it should look slightly bubbly on the inside.

Divide the dough into two and shape into balls. Let them sit to rise, or you can wrap in cling film and freeze for whenever you need to make Mahamri.

When ready to use, place each ball on a floured surface.

Step 2: Divide each ball in half again.

Step 3: Form each section into a smooth ball.

Step 4: Roll each ball into a circle of quarter inch thick.

Step 5: Divide each circle into 4 sections. Continue with the rest of the balls.

Step 6: Place all the sections on a lightly floured surface and keep covered for about an hour.

Step 7: After sitting for about an hour, the sections will have risen.

Step 8: Test the oil temperature by placing the back of a wooden spoon into the center of your frying pan. If the oil is hot enough to use, bubbles will immediately come up from where the tip touches the bottom of the pan. If no bubbles come up, then give the oil a few more minutes to heat up and test again.

Step 9: Put your mahamri sections into the hot oil. Splash the oil over them to help them puff up. Don’t let them puff too high before turning because they can form cracks. When they start puffing up, turn them over

Step 10: This is after they have puffed and been turned over. Now fry until the colour changes.

Step 11: This is about mid-way through the frying, the color now is a nice light brown. I prefer them slightly darker so I let them fry for a bit longer.

Step 12: There we are! Perfect color. Now remove them from the hot oil, and continue frying until all are done.


You can use any toppings of your choice really. I find Mahamri sweet and rich in flavour and as such, I mostly eat them with no toppings. However, if you fancy toppings, here are few you can try: jam, marmalade, maple syrup, squishy cream, Nutella, caramel sauce etc.

Serve with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Scrumptious!

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