“I am originally Indian, but my parents are from Tanzania in East Africa, so the kind of food I grew up on was a mix of both cultures; spicy curries mellowed down with coconut cream and Indian and African snacks, a mishmash of kachoris (lentil stuffed dough balls) and samosas, African fried kebabs and cassava chips. This recipe is one of my favourites and is an East African speciality, called ‘Mandazi’ or ‘Mahamri’, which are peddled on the streets back in Tanzania. They are basically a flat, sweet minus the glaze, and are yummy when eaten plain with a cup of tea, with jam for breakfast or even as an accompaniment to curry. They’re best eaten hot, which is exactly how I ate them as a little girl. This recipe invokes all the sweet memories from my childhood, when I visualise my amazing mum in the kitchen lovingly making these for us, as we would hover around her, eager to the get hold of one almost directly out of the pan… they were good times!”
2 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp dried-active yeast
¾ cup sugar
1 can coconut milk
Milk, as required
1 Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
2 Add the coconut cream and knead the mixture into a dough.
3 Add milk as required and knead vigorously to achieve a smooth dough.
4 Cover the bowl with a tea towel or clingfilm and allow to rest in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.
5 Roll the dough on a lightly floured board until it is about ½ cm thick. Cut into triangles.
6 Heat some sunflower oil in a pan set over a medium-high heat.
7 Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop the mandazis in batches into the oil.
8 They will cook quickly, but they need about 30 seconds on each side, so if you find that they are
browning too fast, lower the temperature a little.
9 When they are golden brown and puffed on each side, remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
10 What are you waiting for? Just eat them!