Friday, December 30, 2016

How To Make Mandazis

One fine Saturday morning Jacob picked up Pamela, her two sons and a nephew along with a bike that belonged to her late husband. While the guys fixed the bike, and the little fellows played, I had Pamela "teach" me how to make mandazis. Here are the instructions :

Dump one bag of flour into a large bowl. Take out 2-3 handfuls. The size of your hand will enter into this. Just guess.  Dump in about a quarter of a (90 gram) box of baking powder. Add approximately 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar and a big spoonful of salt.  Mix well with your hands.
  Next we need a glass of oil. Find one the right, oh..1 and 1/2 cups. Mix it in with your hands till clumpy.
 It's a good idea to keep a Dholuo/ English dictionary handy. Hand gestures are also helpful when working with someone who knows just a bit more English than you know of Luo. Both of you having a good sense of humor can aid in keeping frustration at bay. And when someone fluent in both languages (her nephew) comes in, you jump at the chance to get some things straightened out. :)
 Now back to the recipe:
 Once your dough is nice and "clumpy" , take about a quart of warm water and add it about one cup at a time till your stuff has a nice "doughy" look (5-10 minutes of kneading). Mix the peel of one lemon (I used a grater. She uses the cap off a glass pop bottle.) with a bit of flour, water, and oil. Add to dough mixture and mix in well. (This was only the second time I've had them made with lemon and they are the BEST!) Knead another 5-10 minutes. Cover and let rise 30-60 minutes.
 Meanwhile get the jeko going using charcoal. Stuff kindling in there with your fingers and move the hot jeko with your bare hands to a spot that suits you. (Seriously, these women have TOUGH hands!)
 When dough is ready, roll out bits at a time, maybe 1/4 " (???) thick and cut into desired size and shape. Triangular is the norm.
Fry in hot oil till golden brown. Try to control yourself and wait till they have cooled off a least slightly before devouring. DELICIOUSNESS !
As this makes a huge batch you can share with a couple other families and stick some in your diaper bag for a snack during the Sunday service...uh, for your toddler. My mouth is water just thinking about these. I really should get my work done and mix up a batch. BTW if you are familiar with sopapillas, these would be pretty similar.