Tanzania #8: Maandazi Recipe

Jackson Pitcher (’19) shares a donut recipe he learned at JBFC and how acquiring a new cooking skill will remain a lasting memory. 

Maandazi Recipe (East African Donuts)


3 cups of flour

1 tbsp. of instant yeast

¼ cup of sugar

2 tbsp. of baking powder

1/3 cup of hot oil

¼ cup of warm water


  1. Put flour in bowl
  2. Yeast in bowl
  3. Sugar in bowl
  4. Baking powder in bowl
  5. Hot oil in bowl
  6. Mix until small granules form
  7. Pour warm water into bowl
  8. Continue adding small amounts of water until mixture doughs
  9. Take out of bowl and knead until smooth
  10. Create one big ball with the mixture
  11. Put ball back into bowl and place towel over bowl
  12. Set bowl in the sun or in a place that allows mixture to rise
  13. Let mixture rise until it nearly doubles in size (approx. 30 minutes)
  14. Roll the dough until it is ½ inch thick
  15. Cut into 1.5 inch by 2 inch slices.
  16. Fry slices until dark brown

You’re welcome for the donut recipe. They’re tasty, and even I can make them. As you might notice from my recipe, I am not a very experienced cook. In fact, today was one of the only times I have mixed dough with my hands or even gotten near a frying pan. Thanks to our lovely house matrons, who make us french toast, eggs, cinnamon rolls, and pancakes for breakfast, I now know how to make something other than microwavable mac & cheese and toast. Although the donuts I made were not as good as the ones we ate a few nights ago in the village, I am proud that I acquired this new skill. Without a camera or Tanzanian Shillings, I am relying solely on my brain to bring home the memories of this trip. Therefore, I am glad that the acquisition of this recipe can now serve as an indispensable reminder of Tanzania, and I can make donuts whenever I miss the girls at JBFC, Lake Victoria, or even the weather. My goal of this trip is to have a fantastic time, but to also learn about and experience a little bit of the food, music, and people that make up Tanzanian culture. As with donut making, I have found that the best way to take a brief whiff of the diverse and complex Tanzanian culture is to interact and converse with as many individuals as possible. Whether it be Liston, the IT intern and Cosmic Jaunt founder (excuse the shameless plug for Liston’s up and coming company), Mr. Jonas, assistant campus director and my running buddy, Wande, my 9 year old reading buddy and drama queen, or our house matron, the people who reside here in Tanzania have been generous in sharing pieces of their culture, leaving me with a feeling of reward, and a pleasantly full stomach.