few …ok not so few years ago,when i was in primary school a certain Swahili lady whom i will call Asha( which may not have been her name anyway) would come to the playground with a bucket of warm maandazis and she would sell them to us for a shilling each.
Ah the joys of looking forward to our break time/recess time and the sight of those golden bits of delicious goodness……
They were so tasty I have spent the past 20 or so years trying to recreate them without much success but this recipe comes really close.Thanks to my sister Becky for the original recipe which I tweaked just a bit.
There is always something about dishes from the Kenyan coast…your taste buds will burst into a heavenly chorus once you have eaten one of these maandazi’s .
3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup milk
2 and a half level tablespoons butter.
2 tablespoons sugar
1 level teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
grated rind of 1 medium-sized lemon
vegetable oil for deep-frying
1.In a large mixing bowl sieve two and a half cups of flour,then add sugar salt and the butter which should be at room temperature.Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.The remaining half a cup of flour will be for kneading and rolling out.
2.Whisk the eggs into a separate bowl and add the teaspoon of vanilla essence.
3.Make a well in the centre of your flour and pur in the egg mixture and whisk it into the flour with a fork.
4.Gradually add the cup of milk until you have a thick batter,then use you hands to knead it into a soft dough.
5.Turn the dough onto a flat floured surface and use the palms of your hands to knead it till its smooth ,make sure to dust the flat surface with flour and knead for 3-5 minutes till it no longer sticks to the surface.
5.Gtaher the dough into ball and cover with the glass bowl for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the dough to rest.
6.After an hour divide the dough into four equal parts with a knife and roll into a ball.
7.Roll out each ball into a round shape of about 1/4 of an inch thickness each and use a knife/cookie cutter / to cut it out into the desired shapes.
8.Meanwhile in a medium-sized saucepan pour your vegetable oil and place it onto your cooker over medium high heat ,let it heat through till hot.You can test if its hot enough by dropping a small bit of dough into the fat,if it immediately rises up and turns brown after a few seconds its ready for deep-frying.
9.Fry the maandazi’s in small batches making sure not to overcrowd the saucepan as it will lower the temperature of the oil and make you maandazi’s greasy,make sure there is enough room for them to swim around.Fry till golden brown then scoop them out and into a bowl lined with paper towels.
10.You can dust the maandazi’s with icing sugar or desiccated coconut.
NB:Never ever fill a saucepan more than a quarter full with oil when deep frying.This is so as to avoid dangerous spill overs/spatters when food is added ,fire and oil get along like a house on fire (pun intended).
All your ingredients should be at room temperature