Mandazi (African Donuts)


Mandazis are amazingly soft, triangle-shaped donuts famous in East Africa, where I am from. They are excellent with a cup of tea or coffee. The dash of cardamom adds an authentic taste, making them different from regular donuts. You can serve them with honey or jam. Mandazis can also be served with curry, which is how we like them.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
18 donuts


  • 1 cup warm milk

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • ¼ cup fine white sugar

  • 1 medium egg

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Combine milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, sugar, egg, instant yeast, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough comes together and is easily handled. Knead dough on a flat work surface until no longer sticky. Return dough to the bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  2. Press dough down gently. Knead briefly, then divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball; keep covered with a cloth to prevent dough from drying.

  3. Roll 1 dough ball into a 1/3-inch-thick circle on a floured work surface. Cut into 4 triangles using a pizza cutter; cover with a cloth. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

  4. Heat 2-inches oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan over medium heat.

  5. Working in batches, fry dough in hot oil until puffed, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip dough and continue frying until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.


Substitute shortening for vegetable oil if preferred.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

160 Calories
6g Fat
22g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 18
Calories 160
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 75mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 4g
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 60mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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