Soft Mini Mandzi – East African doughnuts made with grated coconut, spiced with cardamon, nutmeg, and fried to perfection. So I guess it is no secret that I love fried dough, you can tell by all puff-puffs, and doughnuts that I have featured here on this blog. Not to talk of this other Mandazi featured here. I am SUPER excited to present this one – Soft Mini Mandazi. Man, you are going to love this! Mandazi is a slightly sweet East African Street Food; spicy, airy yeast doughnut made with coconut milk, flavored with cardamom and grated fresh coconut/coconut flakes. It can be made with yeast or baking powder. However, I love the depth of flavor that yeast adds to this dough, so my first choice is yeast; unless you need a quick fix – then replace the yeast with baking powder and let it rest for 10 minutes before frying. Trust me. I have been reading your comments and emails about mandazi and a lot of your complains have been about them being too tough or stringy after a while. Folks, rejoice, because this is not! They are bite size, tender and AMAZINGLY good. Don’t believe me? Make it and see for yourself. Before you make these addictive bites, here are some tips to keep in mind before you proceed. Make sure the water is not too hot. You don’t want it warmer than body temp. In order for your mandazi to be fluffy, it has to double in size; be patient with it (it might take longer for some days depending on weather and the internal temperature of your kitchen). If your mandazi does not rise in an hour, try turning on the oven to warm for 10 minutes. Then, turn it off and let the dough rise in the oven.
If all else fails, mix rapid rise yeast into the dough and knead it. You may switch out evaporated milk with coconut milk. It is best to use freshly ground cardamom for this recipe; you get a hint of crushed seeds as you bite into the dough for an enjoyable experience.
Watch How to Make It
Soft Mini Mandazi
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) warm water
- 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- Evaporated milk (5 ounce , 147ml can) or ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup , (100 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour (435- 500 grams)
- ¼ cup grated coconut or coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom spice
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg or cinnamon
- powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar to sprinkle
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- In a large bowl add the warm water, evaporated milk, salt, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add egg mix.
- Then add 3 ½ cups flour, cardamom, nutmeg, grated coconut and continue mixing by hands or in a stand mixer .
- Turn dough on a lightly floured surface, knead dough until all the ingredients have been fully incorporated and the dough is not too sticky, when touched, gradually add the remaining flour if you need to, err on the side of less flour than more flour. Mix dough until smooth about 1 -2 minutes.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover Loosely with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.
- Roll out dough in to 1 inch thick. Cut in bite size
- In a large, sauce pan pour vegetable oil, until it is at least 3 inches (or about 5 centimeters) high (too little will result in flatter mandazi and place on medium heat until oil is 350 degrees.
- Fry until golden brown about 3-5 minutes depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper napkin. serve warm