Editor’s Note: Who doesn’t like Mandazi? No seriously, who doesn’t? If you don’t then let me know so I can ship you my mom’s—I promise they are life changing. Mandazi are a Kenyan favorite. Originally and distinctively a Swahili bread, it’s one of those things that has become a national staple. Stop by the roadside on your way to Nairobi from Mombasa, you’ll find a vendor selling them. Walk by a kibanda in town and you’ll find them in there. We eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner: for breakfast with chai, for lunch with mchuzi wa nyama, and for dinner with mbaazi za nazi. Personally, I could eat them 24/7 and never get tired. You know what’s better than eating Mandazis? Learning how to make them so you can eat them 24/7 too! Like with almost every Swahili dish, every cook adds his/her own flavor and style. Some people fry them and some people bake them. They may be similar in taste but It’s almost impossible to find Mandazis from two different cooks that taste exactly the same. Here’s Farhat’s take on this ubiquitous bread:
3 regular level teacups of white plain flour
¾ teaspoon of instant yeast
4 tablespoon of sugar or to taste
3 tablespoon of custard powder
1/4 teaspoon of finely ground cardamom powder
¾ cup heavy coconut milk
some light coconut milk (just enough to make the dough soft but not sticky, so about ½ - ¾ cup, add bit by bit at a time)
Sieve the flour and add sugar, custard powder, cardamom and yeast directly into it.
Start kneading with the coconut milk adding a little at a time until you have a nice soft dough (not sticky but firm).
Knead it for about ten minutes pounding it as much as possible. To check if the dough has been kneaded well, roll it into a small ball and cut it in the middle by using a sharp knife; It should look slightly bubbly on the inside.
Cover the dough and let sit for an hour or until doubled in size.
Roll or pat the dough out into a nice round shape and place a glass or small bowl in the middle.
Now cut / slice the excess dough like a sunflower as seen on the photo. Set it aside on a greased baking tray.
Keep the cut pieces covered with a light kitchen towel for a half an hour to an hour or until they puff up again (they’ll rise even more as they cook).
Brush the top with egg wash and garnish with sesame seeds if you choose.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until fully cooked and the colour has changed to a golden brown.
Serve warm or cold with any curry for a main meal, or with a hot or cold drink for breakfast, or as a snack any time during the day.
Posting comments after three months has been disabled.