A Quick Mandazi (aka The African Donut) Recipe – From Scratch!

Bowl full of Mandazi, an African Donut

How To Make Mandazi – With Just 5 Ingredients!

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New Years Day was a quiet day for us as a family.

We were just relaxing at home when suddenly the door bell rung.

We had unexpected guests. As usual my focus quickly changed to what I could quickly prepare for my guests. Culturally for us any time a guest visits you or anytime we visit someone, food is always part of the visit…whether it is a quick cup of tea or a full meal.

​I quickly skim through my pantry and noticed the self-rising flour…my mind quickly ran to a quick 5 ingredient Mandazi (African Donut) treat.

Should you, for whatever reason, desire to prepare Mandazi, maybe for an unexpected guest, or a last minute snack…here is the recipe:

A Quick Mandazi (aka The African Donut) Recipe – From Scratch!

Course: Dessert, Valentine’s Day, Quick & EasyDifficulty: Easy


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  • 2 cups self-rising flour

  • 5 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)


  • The first thing you would want to do is measure out your dry ingredients – flour and sugar , put them in the bowl and mix.
  • Add in the margarine and rub it in with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs in texture.
  • Add in the vanilla and mix, adding water gradually until the mixture forms a soft dough.
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface and cut into approx. 2 x 3 inch squares (or whatever shape you’d like! Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to turn these into a valentine’s day treat *wink*)
  • Time to deep fry! Heat the oil, and test if it is ready by dropping a small piece of the dough in the oil. If the little piece immediately rises to the top, it is a sign that the oil is hot enough.
  • Drop in the squares and deep fry until they are golden brown.

Now this mandazi is an accompaniment for a nice cup of tea.

When I make reference to tea, I am talking about tea that is brewed in one pot with the milk. For our family every time was tea time…and this still stands today! Every time my Mother said she had a headache, we translated it to mean, I need- not want –need a cup of tea. Growing up tea was one of the first things that was cooked in the house when people woke up in the morning, it was then poured into an enamel teapot, and this teapot stayed close to the fire so that the tea stayed warm all day. When a guest walked in, there was no asking if they wanted something to drink, it was automatic that tea would be served to the guest.

If you enjoyed this recipe, leave a comment below!

How To Make Mandazi – It’s Easy!

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