Recipes: Ugandan Mandazi

Written by
Daphine Nkunda
Published on
October 26, 2020 at 3:16:00 PM PDT October 26, 2020 at 3:16:00 PM PDTth, October 26, 2020 at 3:16:00 PM PDT

A bit of a familiar looking treat, eh? Mandazi is sold on every street corner in Uganda for a few hundred shillings—about 15 cents—each. It’s common around East Africa as a preferred bite-size, sweet-and scrumptious snack enjoyed with hot beverages such as tea, coffee, and hot cocoa. Deep-fried dough never disappoints!


• 2 cups flour
• 4 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp baking powder
• pinch salt
• 1 tbsp margarine
• 1 cup milk
• zest from 2 lemons
• 3 cups vegetable oil


1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Grate lemon rinds into zest and add to flour mixture. Stir in milk and margarine. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until thick, then work with your hands into a soft dough. Add small handfuls of flour as needed until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. Knead until smooth.

2. Roll dough into smooth balls slightly smaller than a golf ball. Pinch together folds or cracks in the dough.

3. Pour 3 cups of oil into a 3 quart pot and heat over medium high heat on the stove. The oil should be hot, but not a rolling boil. Test by putting a dry wooden spoon in the oil—if bubbles sizzle gently around the spoon, the oil is hot enough.

4. Once the oil is ready, gently add dough balls to the oil. Do not overfill the pot; give the dough room to cook so they don’t stick together. Fry each batch for about 6-8 minutes until slightly expanded, golden brown, and cooked through the centre. If the dough balls darken quickly, the oil is too hot. When cooked, remove the doughnuts to cool and dry on paper towels for 5 minutes.

5. Serve fresh with tea or coffee. Can be topped with sugar, jam, or other confectionary toppings. Makes 20 mandazi. Enjoy!