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Mahamri is basically like a doughnut but it is flavoured with coconut and cardamom powder. Doughnuts are ring shaped, but Mahamri is usually triangular in shape or sometimes round. Generally mahamri is enjoyed as a breakfast item on its own with tea or coffee or with mbaazi (pronounced as mmmbaaazi). Mbaazi is soaked pigeon peas cooked in coconut milk. 
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Kenyan, Swahili
Servings 32 PIECES


  • 3 cups plain flour all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp dry active instant yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup hot milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk thick
  • 2 tbsp ghee clarified butter or butter
  • extra flour for dusting
  • oil for deep frying



  • Sieve flour into a big bowl and mix in the cardamom powder and sugar.
  • Add the instant yeast and mix well.
  • Add 1 tbsp ghee and rub it into the flour.
  • Mix the hot milk and coconut milk.
  • Using the milk mixture, form a soft dough.
  • Using the remaining butter or ghee, knead the dough for 5 minutes till it becomes smooth.
  • Lightly grease a bowl. Place the dough in it. Cover with cling film and let the dough rise for about 1½ - 2 hours. Fermenting time will depend on how cold or warm your place is.


  • Sieve some flour onto baking sheets or trays sparingly.
  • Knead the dough gently. Divide the dough into 8 parts.
  • Roll each part into a ball.
  • Roll out one ball into a 6  inch diameter circle, using some flour.
  • Cut it into 4 parts using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter.
  • Place the triangles onto the floured baking sheet or tray.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.


  • Heat oil in a frying pan, wok or karai oer medium heat. Add a small piece of the dough into the hot oil. If it sizzles and comes up immedaitely then the oil is ready.
  • When it is hot, place the triangles (3 to 4 at a time) in it gently and fry till they are golden brown. Remember not to fry them over high heat as they will brown quickly and the inside will remain raw.
  • Remove the fried mahamri into a colander and repeat with the remaining triangles.
  • Serve hot with any curry of your choice or some spicy tea or coffee.


  • Mahamri can be served with chicken or fish cooked in coconut milk. 
  • To make fresh thick coconut milk, grate a coconut. Add a bit of water to the grated coconut and blend it in a liquidizer. Put the coconut and water into a sieve and squeeze out the milk.This is the thick milk. Put the coconut back into the liquidizer with some more water. Blend and squeeze out the milk again. This time you get the thin milk which can be used for cooking fish, chicken, pigeon peas or corn or even used for making coconut rice.
  • Store leftover mahamri in an airtight container so that it does not dry up. 
  • Can roll the dough into small circles and make mahamri. Similar size to a puri.
  • If you are not using instant yeast, then use warm milk to activate the yeast. Let the yeast become frothy for 10 minutes before using to form the dough.
  • The dough should not be too soft as it will be difficult to pick the mahamri up for frying.
Keyword how to make mahamri, mahamri recipe