Swahili mandazi in my kitchen in Helsinki.

Swahili mandazi in my kitchen in Helsinki.

Mandazi is a fried bread originating from the Swahili Coast, which now encompasses parts of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. It is of course in no way a sustainable meal on its own, but it can be eaten as accompaniment to many meals throughout the day. Dipped in coffee, tea, or fresh fruit juice. With breakfast. Re-heated in the evenings. But also as their own snacks. That is how I wanted to serve these.

I had a nice game night planned with friends, and in my search for a nice snack I figured that these easy fried bites would work perfectly. With a plate-full, I served them with a sugar-cinnamon mixture for dipping; they became a welcome, sweet desserty late-nighty snack.

There are a couple of sources I read for inspiration. This post presents a very quick recipe, and combined cardamom and cinnamon as spices, which seems like a great idea. Then I also found this video pretty good.

Ingredients are expressed in baker's percentages where relevant. Let's start by mixing dry stuff.


Prepare wet ingredients.

I actually ran out of coconut milk, so I threw in some oat milk. Worked perfectly too (also nice and sweet).

Now mix everything until a somewhat cohesive dough forms. Take it out of its comfortable bowl, and start kneading it for around five minutes by pushing it out with your palm and folding it back on itself again. Rotate the dough by ninety degrees after every such motion.

Let proof for an hour (covered to prevent the dough from drying out). □

Roll the dough out and cut squares of about four centimeters, that you diagonally halve to get the desired triangle. Or feel free to carve out any other symbolic form you want to propagate into fried heaven.

Heat up some oil to ~180 degrees Celsius, or until a wooden chopstick/spatula causes small bubbles to appear when put in the oil. Fry all pieces of bread on both sides until nice. Test drive a few to check if their core is also properly un-rawed.

Combine some sugar and cinnamon for extra sweet dipping.