Mandazi are a type of Kenyan doughnut served in East Africa. We first tried them at the amazing C&W’s African Experience in Gloucester. As we haven’t been back to Gloucester since then, I thought I’d locate a recipe and try a primal version. I found a recipe at All Things Kenyan, which also contained a lot of helpful variations, so here’s the (not at all authentic) version I planned to try.
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1/4 cup milk or coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to gas mark 4 / 180C / 350F.
- Mix everything together to form a dough.
- Roll it out to around 1/4 inch thickness. Cut it into triangles.
- Bake in the oven until golden brown on both sides.
When I started making it, I decided to make a double batch so as not to have half a banana lying around. I therefore decided to vary other elements a bit. In batch 1, I used half ground almonds and half tapioca starch, and 1/4 cup sugar. In batch 2, I ran out of shredded coconut so had to top it up with coconut flakes. When I finished the two versions, they were both quite runny, too much so to roll out. I spooned batch 1 directly onto a baking tray and baked it for 20 minutes, which gave me some fairly flat and tasty biscuits, although nothing at all like mandazi (I forgot to take a picture of them). Batch 2 was so runny that I added quite a lot of tapioca starch to get it to a consistency which I could deep-fry. That produced some fritters, along the same lines as mandazi although not the right shape.
I’d try the recipe again, especially if I needed a biscuit substitute. However, I’d probably skip the coconut milk to get a more rollable texture.