Mahamri (African Doughnuts)

by cookwith2nomads

These golden brown puffy triangles are so delicious you won’t stop eating them!  When I was a child growing up in Mombasa I used to help my mother make these doughnuts called bur saliid or khamiir in Somali or mahamri in Swahili. They are great for breakfast eaten with beans in coconut sauce or just with a cup of chai. You can also eat them with any kind of curry. We used to make the dough and let it rest overnight to rise. This process would also result in a sourdough version of mahamri.  In this recipe I have used yeast which gives you a quick rising dough in a relatively short time.

This recipe makes about 32 doughnuts.

Mahamri (African Doughnuts)

Serves: 10+ Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk powder or 400g can of coconut milk as a substitute
  • ¾ cup warm milk (omit if using canned coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Mix the yeast, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of plain flour and the ¼ cup of warm water. Leave the yeast to rise (the addition of sugar and flour helps in the rising process).
  2. Knead the flour, sugar, cardamom, coconut powder, warm milk and yeast mixture to form a smooth dough. If using canned coconut milk don’t add the warm milk as the coconut milk should be sufficient to make a smooth dough.
  3. Let the dough rest in a warm place – preferably overnight or until double in size (the dough could rise in a few hours if you live in a warm climate).
  4. Divide dough into 8 balls.
  5. Roll each ball into a 6 inch circle and cut into quarters
  6. Pour the oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat. You want the oil hot enough when you start frying the dough.
  7. Drop the three to four triangles into the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough the dough will quickly float to the top and puff up. Turn the mahamri as soon as it is a light brown and turn. Cook on the other side for another minute and remove from the deep fryer with a slated spoon. The doughnuts should be a light golden brown.


Author : Abderazzaq Noor
Recipe by : Shukri

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