ALELUYA…………MAANDAZI

A 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 .

Here goes…..

 

Ingredients

3 cups self-raising flour

3 eggs

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

Preparation

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.

Buon appettito!

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

PINEAPPLE PANCAKES

I love pancakes.

I make them every Sunday morning for breakfast.

You can find some of the recipes for parsley/coriander pancakes,gram flour pancakes and pancakes where i used grated chocolate.

Last week I bought semolina flour because I wanted to make fresh pasta  and thought I could use it to make this pancakes.

Semolina makes the batter a little thicker than regular flour ,the pancakes also have crisper edges and they are a little thicker than crepes which makes them pancakes!

Semolina flour is yellow and  has a lot of gluten than people who sensitive to  gluten(a plant protein need  to stay away from.

The flour is made from the endosperm of durum wheat.

The Nakumatt chain of supermarkets sells locally produced of semolina in packets of 1 kilogramme at 85 shillings ,they also stock imported semolina in 500 grammes packets.

Gluten being a wheat protein that helps baked products like cakes,doughnuts,bread retain their shape better.

Here is the recipe ,the pineapple really gives them a sweet taste without the need for too much sugar.

Pineapple apart from being rich in Vitamin C also contains manganese a radical fighting dietary component and copper that helps in the utilization of iron.

Ingredients

1/cup semolina flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs 

1 cup milk

1 scant tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon ripe pineapple finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons extra virgin oil

oil for frying

Method

1.In a blender combine  eggs,milk,flour,sugar.salt,essence and 2 tablespoon extra virgin oil in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.

2.Add the pineapple pieces and leave overnight in the fridge.

Next morning…….

3.In a skillet of heavy pan over medium heat  add i tablespoon of vegetable oil,once it hot enough about 60 seconds add some of the batter and swirl it till it cover base of pan thinly.

i use a serving spoon to measure out the batter.

Wait for 2-3 minutes till the pancake starts to curl around the edges and they turn a light brown then flip them over.

4.Add just a little bit of oil to cook the second side making sure to press down to ensure the pancake gets cooked,takes about 30-45 seconds.Then turn it onto a flat platter.

5.Repeat this with the remaining b atter and you are going to end up with about 4-6 pancakes.

Enjoy!

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G GRAM FLOUR PANCAKES

Gram flour remains an underrated pantry item.

In another post I had used it to make arrow-root bhajias,but I got a moment of inspiration when a crepe craving kicked in and I decided to make crepes with the flour.

The resulting pancake is denser than a crepe and by adding the eggs it softened it up,though you can still choose to omit them and have a crisper pancake.

Bein a protein rich food as well as being a good source of iron and fibre I decided to substitute half the flour in  my pancake recipe with gram flour and it turned out A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

That is the only way to describe what I ate.

The batter can also be used to make mini pancakes when you shallow fry a tablespoon of the batter ,they make for great appetizers and finger foods especially for cocktails.

They are best served while still hot/warm.

Without further ado here is the recipe,you have to try it to believe me.

Ingredients

1/2 cup wheat flour

1/2 cup gram flour

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion/finely chopped coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 table-spoons extra virgin olive oil

Vegetable oil for frying

Preparation

1.Start by soaking the chopped onions in a small bowl  with salted water for 30 minutes then drain and set aside

2.In your blender or in a mixing bowl,pour the flour,salt,milk,olive oil  and eggs and either blend or whisk together.

3.Add the onions and refrigerate overnight or for an hour before frying the pancakes.

4.Heat a heavy pan/girdle and pout about a tablespoon of oil then spoon the batter using a large serving spoon and swirl it round till it forms a thin pancake on the pan.

5.Cook for 3-5 minutes till underside of pancake is brown and the edges start curling upwards then flip it over .Let it cook for 2-3 minutes till its brown then transfer to a platter lined with paper towels.

6.Repeat the above step with the remaining batter that makes about 6 pancakes.

7.Serve them while still hot/warm.