to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be be IMARA

imara by Mshana

This is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and other liminal hu-women like myself. I explore here my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!

Maandazi (East African Donuts)

cooking yourself happy with foods that remind you of home

You know you are missing home when you spend the whole weekend making and eating food from home! Last weekend, I literary survived on Maandazi and Masala Tea, I ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (totally a balanced diet πŸ˜‚).


I am yet to master the art of making yeast expand dough, so, my maandazi didn't rise as well and as much as I wanted them to. A good andazi has that airy inside very soft and bread like. I obviously didn't get that full bread-like inside judging from how compact the pieces look, however, they still tasted like I made heaven edible. Disclaimer, these little suckers are addictive πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ so make as many as possible.


  • 1ΒΌ or 1Β½ cups coconut milk (I guess you can use warm milk instead)

  • 4 tsp dry yeast

  • 1 tsp ground Cardamon (or more, I love cardamom)

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup sugar (you can add or reduce)

  • 1 tbsp oil (optional)

  • oil for deep frying (depending on your pan)


  1. Dissolve yeast in ΒΌ cup coconut milk in your mixing bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap until the yeast rises (should take 5-7 minutes or so).

  2. Add into mixture the sugar, 1 tbsp oil, cardamon and mix.

  3. Add flour into mixture and mix. Gradually add the remaining coconut milk. If it gets too soft, you can add flour a little bit at a time if it’s too hard you can add coconut milk or water a tbsp at a time.

  4. On a flat floured surface, continue to knead the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes elastic. Move the dough to a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it rise.

  5. Once it has doubled in size, knead the dough for an additional 2 minutes.

  6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/2 cm thin. Use a round cookie cutter or a similar utensil to cut the dough into regular shapes.

  7. Deep fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.

When done frying, keep your maandazi in a paper towel to drain any excessive oil. When they have cooled it’s better to put them in a tight container or plastic to stop them from becoming hard. Voila! Go on and feed yourself gorgeous young lad!