Orange flavoured mandazis

I have a love hate relationship with mandazis. I would never be head over heels for them but I am not about to pass up a chance to stuff my face full of them.

I’ve been making mandazis ever since I was in primary school (seems like eons ago). I vaguely remember helping my mum cut mandazis into shapes using bottle tops and cups to so as to eat certain shapes.

I learnt how to make mandazis mainly because, in my primary school, boys were bullies and you’d be lucky to eat the mandazi you bought at break time without having millions of hands come from nowhere and pinch your 5bob mandazi into oblivion.

When I went to high school, I always enjoyed making them because for some reason they would serve as tea time snack for well over two  weeks. How this was possible only God knows as they had no preservatives and I stored mine in the same box and my soaps and shoe polish (don’t judge me, we survived).

Now I mainly make them for my dad and sister as they are the ones who mainly need a snack to carry on their way to work.

They are pretty simple to make especially if you’re patient with the proofing/blooming time.


  1. 1 kilo all purpose flour.
  2. 2/3 cup sugar (can add or reduce to your liking)
  3. 2 tablespoon yeast
  4. Zest of 1 orange
  5. Juice of 1 orange
  6. 1 cup lukewarm water
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  9. Pinch of salt


Add 3/4 of your flour, sugar, oil, eggs, orange zest and yeast  and salt in one bowl. Mix well.


Add the orange juice to the flour mixture and stir.


It should be a bit heavy at this point, add the water little by little so that the dough starts coming together. If you put in too much water, add more flour.


Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or countertop.

the zest can still be seen in the dough

Put your dough into a heat proof bowl, cover with a wet towel, and leave it somewhere warm to proof/bloom. Should take 20-40 minutes to bloom. if you do not have a heat proof bowl, you can leave the dough in a plastic bowl, but take care it doesn’t burn.


During the cold weather, it may be hard to get a warm place to proof your dough, so you can improvise using a sufuria with hot water.

Place the bowl with the dough on top of the sufuria and let it sit for a while.

The longer you leave it the more leavened the mandazis will be and this could have a fermented taste and smell because of the yeast. When proofing time is done, the dough will have doubled in volume, and will be really soft to touch.


Punch the center of the dough. It helps release the air that is in the dough.


Dust your surface with flour and roll the dough to your desired thickness.

the rolling pin pic never misses

If you roll the dough too thin, the mandazis will have a big hole in the middle. Personally I don’t like empty ndaos.

Thinly rolled dough
Cut into desired size strips
When frying thin mandazis, they get to swell up more in the oil
But they are empty on the inside

If you roll the dough too thick, you run the risk of not having the mandazis cook well. Many of my clients dislike fleshy mandazis because of fear that the mandazis are not cooked through.



Best served while they are warm.


Serve with a hot cuppa.


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