Wanjiru wa Drew: Mahamri / Mandazi

Today Wanjiru Kihusa shows us how she makes this classic pastry. A great followup to the skewers from Tuesday — if you missed those just see the previous post once you’re done reading this one.

I have wanted to learn how to make these for a long time, I just never got around to it. But I’m glad I waited cause there’s nothing like getting a tried a true recipe from a friend, and even better, with a demonstration!

In her own words…

how pretty are they?

This is a recipe that I receive from a friend. I tried it and the mahamris were perfectly soft on the first round so I was really happy with it. It goes like this:   

3 cups of flour + extra for rolling
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of oil or 2 tablespoon of margarine

Start with the dry ingredients, place them all in a mixing bowl

measuring the sugar
we tried mixed spices instead of cinnamon this day

You can add 1 teaspoon of lemon rind or use mixed spices in place of cinnamon

flour, sugar, baking powder and mixed spices, ready to go, mix with fork or spoon and set aside

Then in a separate container, combine the water and milk, then pour into the dry ingredients in portions and mix with a large fork or wooden spoon


Once all the liquid is in, switch to working with your hands. Make sure they’re clean.

dig in and knead the dough till all the flour comes together in one neat dough

The dough will be a little bit wet, don’t add any flour to it, that is the way it should be. A lot of people tend to add more flour here but that’s what makes the mahamri hard later.

Cover with a kitchen cloth and leave alone for about 40 minutes to an hour at room temperature. It will rise a little. After the hour is up put some oil in a pot to start heating up. Then dust a clean surface on the counter with a bit of flour and pour out the dough onto it.

then dust the dough and knead a little bit

Cut the dough into two portions and roll one out with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 5mm

rolling out, only add enough flour so that the dough is not sticky

Then you can either use large cookie cutters or a cup to cut to desired shape.

I used a cup

The oil should be hot enough at this point and you can start cooking. Drop your cut pieces in and continue rolling out the rest as you check on them.

the last piece
don’t over crowed the pot as you fry them, place just enough so you have room to turn them over
sizzle sizzle
when they turn this perfect golden brown colour they’re ready.

They will be perfectly soft inside too

served with a sprinkle of icing sugar
they are sooo yummy when fresh from frying and still warm

Drew’s Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

This was the first time I used mixed spices, I liked it a lot. I would double the measurement though, make it 2 teaspoons instead of one.

And there you have it! Go and give it a try. Enjoy!

About aika

Making, eating and sharing good food are a splendid way to start, brake and end a day! I post good eats on www.pendolamama.co.ke. Life is a feast, eat up!

6 thoughts on “Wanjiru wa Drew: Mahamri / Mandazi

  1. I’m generally quite useless in the kitchen but these turned out very tasty, thank you! I used the 2 tsp of mixed spice as you suggested and also followed your advice on not adding extra flour to the dough. How did you manage to get such perfect shapes? Mine got rather deformed when transitioning from counterpoint to cooking pot.

    1. Hello Angela! Thanks for trying them. Glad they turned out well As for the shape, use some flour to roll the dough so they don’t stick to the counter. That makes it easy to lift them without ruining the shape.

    2. Awesome Angela!! Glad you found them tasty! Do try them again and use more flour when rolling them out like Wanjiru suggests. And the keep making them, it’s like rolling out chapatis, gets better with time, you know? (^_^) The good news is they’ll taste great regardless of the shape!


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