Recipe for peace: Mandazi (KENYA)

As part of our Recipes for Peace series, each week we feature an inspiring dish to celebrate the varied - and tasty - ways in which food can play a role in building peace.

This week's recipe was contributed by Masterchef 's quarter-finalist Emily Amuke, ahead of our 'Peace blooms' exhibition on Kenya.

Emily Amuke’s Mandazi recipe (KENYA)

I am told there are 42 different tribes in Kenya, each with their own customs and food. For my recipe for peace, I decided to go with something that is not only national but made and eaten everywhere amongst all these tribes. It is also universal, found in different forms around the world.

My dish for peace is the wonderfully delicious morsel that is known as mandazi in Swahili, churro as found in Spain and South America, fried dumpling in the West Indies or doughnut in Europe and the USA. How much more uniting can a dish be?

I have such fond memories of cooking this when I was little and sharing it with friends and even enemies who fast became friends in the school playgrounds whenever it was produced. Enjoy it on its own or with a cup of tea or coffee.


  • 125 ml warm water
  • Evaporated milk (5 oz can) or 185 ml canned coconut milk
  • 112 g sugar (or less to your taste, won’t affect the cooking)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 500 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg or cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar to sprinkle
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Cooking instructions

  • Mix the flour, cardamom powder, nutmeg, sugar, baking powder and salt with your hands in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the warm water and coconut milk then add this to the flour mixture and mix to form a soft dough.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until all the ingredients have been fully incorporated and the dough is not too sticky. Add flour if needed, you need a pliable dough that isn’t sticky.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two balls and roll out each ball into 1 cm thick circles.
  • Cut into long strips, then cut the strips into small bite size squares
  • In a large wok, pour in the vegetable oil, to come up halfway, and place on medium heat until the oil starts to sizzle. You can taste the temperature by dropping a little dough into the oil, it is ready if it sizzles
  • Drop the dough squares into the oil, a few at a time and fry until golden brown about 3-5 minutes depending on size.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper napkin.
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Kenyan-born/ London-based Emily Amuke is BBC's 2013 Masterchef UK quarter finalist and runs the Fulham Supper Club. Follow Emily on Twitter: @thefirstbiteis