Do you know I had to google the name of these things? I know they are not exactly mandazi, I am also aware they are not doughnuts because they are not round and have no hole in the middle.
Someone told me they are called beignets; but I refused, that name sounds too fancy for a “Drogba”; which is what I have always called them from way back in high school.
They went by different names then; people called them muno mukabi, bunduguza, defender, and many more. There was just no way a bulldozer was going to be renamed a beignet.
Below is a recipe I used to make these, feel free to copy and try it out.
In a mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, lemon zest, food colouring and salt.
Add the butter into the mixing bowl, rubbing it with your fingers until you achieve a fine crumb.
Create a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg and vanilla extract.
Add the milk, a little at a time and mix well until everything in the bowl is well combined. The dough should be soft, but should not stick.
Form the dough into a ball, place in a container with a lid and cover. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, place the dough on a lightly floured working surface and shape it into a disc.
Then lightly flour your rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking onto it.
Use the rolling pin to spread the disc to a sheet of dough of about 1/4-inch thickness then using a knife, cut out shapes on the sheet of dough. Place these cut-out shapes on the floured baking sheet.
Gather the scraps of dough into a ball and re-roll and cut shapes out of this. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Heat your oil to medium-high heat. You do not want it too hot because you want your mandazito cook evenly, not a scenario where the outside of your mandazi cooks well yet the inside is not ready.
On the other hand, if your oil is not hot enough, the mandazi will absorb a lot of oil as they will sit at the bottom of the pan for too long before rising.
Once you have confirmed that your oil is ready, gently drop the shaped dough into the pan one at a time without overcrowding it.
At the right temperature, your mandazis should cook for at least four minutes on each side and you will know they are ready when they have a golden brown colour.
At this point, you can transfer them to the lines colander to drain excess oil, then serve warm.
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3/4- 1 cup of sugar, or less, depending on how sweet you like it
- 2 teaspoonfuls of baking powder (not baking soda)
- 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoonful of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoonful of ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoonful of egg-yellow food colouring (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoonful of salt
- 1 tablespoonful of lemon zest
- 1 teaspoonful of pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg at room temperature, slightly beaten
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 tablespoonfuls of unsalted butter
- 4 cups of vegetable oil for frying
Compiled by Rogers Balamaga