Is there anything better than a cup of hot Indian Chai and a delicious sweet treat to go alongside it? This eggless East-African Mandazi or Mahamri is the perfect solution. With just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of coconut, prepare to keep making these Kenyan doughnuts again and again.

We love using our Instant Pot to prove the dough for bread, naan and doughnuts.

Image of risen mahamri


East African Heritage

One of my most favourite things to do as a child was listening to stories from both of my parents' childhoods. Whenever my Mum cooked a meal, she would always have a story attached to it. I listened intently, as I imagined that life myself. But, mostly I kept her distracted so she didn't notice that I hadn't finished all my greens...

My Dad then always chipped in with his childhood stories growing up in East-Africa and the food that his Mum would make. He would always ask my Mum to recreate those old recipes and now I have learned to make them too.

I have grown up on authentic Indian food, East-African Gujarati food, and of course, British food.

Some of my favourite East-African recipes which are unique to Gujaratis who grew up there are:

Kasoli nu Saak (Sweetcorn and Peanut Curry)

Maru Bhajiya (Crispy Potato Fritters)

Sweetcorn and Red Kidney Bean Curry

Kenyan Style Chevdo (a delicious snack)

Masala Mogo

Chilli, Garlic and Lime Mogo Chips 

Instant Pot Eggless Mahamri

Mandazi or Mahamri are African style doughnuts usually served on the streets in the coastal region of Kenya. They are typically eaten with tea or served alongside a mildly-spiced beans curry that usually is made with coconut milk. 

We used our Instant Pot to prove as we aren't always blessed with warm weather to get perfectly risen dough! After many attempts at proving dough in the British weather (think radiators and ovens burning on continuously in a futile attempt at creating a "warm environment"), we found solace in the Instant Pot which gave us risen dough in under 2 hours! Trust us, it works. 

Included below also is the traditional method and timings if you do not have an Instant Pot.

Image of risen mandazi mahamri

Doughnuts without eggs - what it tastes like

✓ Mind-blowingly good

✓Suitable for vegans

✓Soft and flaky

✓Not too sweet

✓Delicate coconut flavour

✓Great with Masala Chai as a tea time snack

✓Rarely found in food places in the UK - so you must make them for yourself!

✓They may remind you of Indian Gulgule or Shakkar Para

🍩 Ingredients

Here is everything you will need, plus ingredients substitute ideas.

Laid out raw ingredients for mahamri

1. All-purpose flour - plain flour -maida

2. Coconut Milk - we have used thick milk.

3. Desiccated coconut or flakes

4. Sugar - regular granulated sugar works fine (for vegans make sure the sugar is suitable for vegans too)

5. Dried Yeast - it will help to raise the dough.

6. Salt - helps to magnify the sweet flavours.

7. Olive Oil - it keeps doughnuts soft without getting dry.

8. Vegetable Oil for deep frying

9. Cardamom powder - it's a backbone of this recipe, do not miss adding it.

💡 Tips:

If you do not have yeast, then you can use self-raising flour. Use the same proportion of self-raising flour to normal all-purpose flour from the recipe. If you do not have self-raising flour, use all-purpose flour and add baking soda and baking powder. (you don't need proving)

Because I know that you will be pestered by your family and friends to keep making these, we have included some Variations of flavours for you!

  • Add a drop of vanilla essence to the dough and sprinkle vanilla sugar when serving
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon powder to the dough and sprinkle cinnamon sugar when serving
  • Add lemon or lime zest for a citrusy variation

📝 How to make Mahamri/Mandazi:

Note-please follow step by step instructions, full printable recipe card with the exact measurement is at the bottom of this post)


1. In a big bowl or stand mixer bowl, place flour, salt, sugar, cardamom and coconut flakes. (pic 1)

2. Combine using a balloon whisk. (pic 2)

3. Add milk and olive oil. (pic 3)

4. Knead the dough. (pic 4)

image shows step by step method for making mahamri

PROVE DOUGH IN INSTANT POT (for traditional method see below)

5. Place the parchment paper in an inner pot and place the dough, cover the pot with the lid. (pic 5)

6. Put the inner pot in the instant pot, select YOGURT mode and press for 1 hour. (pic 6)

step by step images are shown for the method in making mahamri

Shape Mandazi

7. Deflate the dough by gently punching a couple of times and divide the dough into 8 equal portions. (pic 7)

8. Make round balls and keep it five minutes aside. (pic 8)

9. Roll out each ball. (pic 9)

10. Into 6" disk. (pic 10)

11. Cut into 4 triangles. (pic 11)

12. Cover it with the clean kitchen towel. (pic 12)


13. Heat enough oil in a kadai or pan. (pic 13)

14. Carefully add one doughnut in a pan, if the pan is bigger add a couple. (pic 14)

15. Deep fry on medium heat until golden. (pic 15)

😋 Tips to get the best risen Mahamri

Keep the triangles of the dough rolled out thin and also not too large - this will help to get air pockets and achieve the authentic Mahamri shape.

Make sure you have enough oil in your frying pan / Kadai as the Mahamri need space to rise in the pan.

First heat oil on high flame, then turn the flame on medium.

Don't keep high flame while frying, keep it on medium but keep consistent temperature all the time, else the doughnuts will quickly go brown outside and remain raw inside.

If you do not have an Instant Pot, you can still easily prove the dough.

Here is how to prove the dough the traditional way:

Once you have all the ingredients in the bowl, mix it with the wooden spoon.

Bring the dough to a working surface and knead the dough using heels of your palm for about 10-15 minutes, until you get shiny, pliable and smooth dough.

Transfer the dough in a large greased bowl with oil, cover it with the cling film or clean kitchen towel.

Set aside in a warm place for 50-90 minutes or until it rises in double size.

Then follow the same procedure as above.

🥫 Store:

Store in an airtight container so they do not go too soft

If you reheat, they may lose a little of their texture but will still taste wonderful!


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eggless mandazi, instant pot eggless mahamri, easy kenyan doughnuts, doughnuts without eggs
Breakfast, snacks
Instant Pot Eggless Mandazi/Mahamri | Vegan Kenyan Doughnuts-donuts egg and vegan East-African Mandazi, using Instant pot to risen the dough.
Yield: 32 doughnuts

Instant Pot Eggless Mandazi/Mahamri | How to make Mandazi

Instant Pot Eggless Mandazi/Mahamri | How to make Mandazi

With just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of coconut, prepare to keep making these Kenyan doughnuts again and again.
prep time: 1 H & 15 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 1 H & 35 M


  • Big bowl
  • Balloon whisk
  • Stand mixer
  • Instant Pot
  • Rolling pin
  • sharp knife
  • pizza cutter -optional
  • Cling film - optional
  • Parchment paper -optional
  • Wooden board
  • Slotted spoon
Kenyan Doughnuts
  • 500g plain flour + some for dusting
  • 150g sugar
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 300ml lukewarm coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried yeast
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. In a big bowl place flour, sugar, salt, coconut, yeast and cardamom powder.
  2. Combine everything using whisk.
  3. Add oil and coconut milk.
  4. Knead the dough using a stand mixer. Start with low speed, once the dough comes together, go higher the speed and knead the dough for 8 minutes until the dough is shiny, pliable and smooth.
  5. In the inner pot of instant pot place the parchment paper, and place the kneaded dough. 
  6. Cover the pot with the glass lid.
  7. Select the YOGURT mode and press for 1 hour.
  8. Punch the dough is proved, punched it down gently to remove the air from the dough.
  9. Now cut the dough using a sharp knife into 8 equal pieces.
  10. Make round balls and leave it aside. 
  11. Dust little flour on the workboard, and roll out not too thin 6-7" round disk.
  12. Cut the disk into 4 triangles using pizza cutter. 
  13. Meanwhile, heat the oil.
  14. Deep-fry doughnuts on medium heat.
  15. Remove using a slotted spoon.
  16. Sprinkle little powdered or icing sugar and serve hot.


Don't like cardamom flavour? omit totally.
Use dairy milk for a vegetarian mandazi.
If first doughnuts get brown very quickly, turn the heat very low wait for a while oil to cool down a little.
Do not press the doughnut very hard while frying, just gently tap it with spoon and allow to rise fully.
Best serve hot.
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The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.
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  1. Vegan African mandazi looks so delicious. This is so new dish to me as I have never heard about this before.
    Your detailed recipe is such a great help. Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is a completely new dish for me and now I am tempted to make it for my family. They looks so crispy and delicious. Thanks for the detailed recipe and photos.

    1. Thanks Pavani, hope you guys enjoy making it.

  3. Mahamri is our once a month brunch. So popular in Mombasa, its practically sold in every nook and corner! Its what the poor people can afford, one mahamri with some black tea for breakfast. Its a little sweet as the sugar gives them energy to go on till their next meal. I'm intrigued that you've added desiccated coconut.

    1. Thanks Mayuri for stopping by. I have heard about this Dish a lot from my dad, uncles and aunties. This recipe is my late Garndma's, she always added coconut so I have too, actually coconut gives that beautiful texture, flavour and aroma to it.

  4. This looks like a great chai treat. As usual your images are so amazing I get hungry just seeing them.

  5. Such a unique recipe and it sounds delicious too. I will definitely try it. My parents also used to tell us stories related to different dishes from their childhood and that's how I developed interest in food and cooking.Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

    1. Thanks Vandana, glad to hear your story too :)

  6. I am literally drooling seeing your recipe. I love this and would be trying this very soon. Love the IP for being able to proof the dough perfectly every time.

  7. Mandazi looks and sounds so delicious. This is totally new to me...I have never heard about this before.
    With your detailed recipe I'm surely going to try this sometime...Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Padma, let us know how you get on :)

  8. I have never heard of this but this vegan mandazi sure does sounds super delicious.
    The pictures are so beautiful and I just can’t keep scrolling up and down.

  9. Mandazi is quite new to me, it looks and sounds so flavourful. I hope to make it sometime. Good to know about this.

  10. This is a completely new as well as an interesting dish.
    These look so crispy and delicious. Use of IP is a lovely idea, will try sometime

    1. Thanks Sasmita, let us know if you try this dish of ours.

  11. mandazi, oh yumm, we love it. have made it quite a few times as kids enjoy the coconut flavor. i too add a little coconut to the buns as they add a nice flavor!! Proofing the dough in the IP looks interesting!!! A great snack anytime/!!!

    1. Thnks Priya, glad to know that your kids love it too!

  12. This is totally new dish for me. Looks so very delicious, crisp and just right for the monsoon season.

  13. This looks delightful and hope to make them soon!!
    Please could you mention the quantity for baking soda and baking powder also can only baking powder be used.
    Can this be made with fresh coconut.

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment. For one cup plain flour use 1/2 tsp. baking soda or 1 tsp. baking powder.

      With regards to using fresh coconut, you could use it but only unless you can still make very very fine pieces with it. We found that even with using desiccated coconut, it left holes in the dough and sometimes the mandazi didn't rise as air escaped and didn't make pockets.

      If you do make it, please take photos and let us know how it turned out! Good luck!!

  14. I love trying recipes from around the world. This sounds delicious. Food memories from childhood are the best!!

  15. So much I love about this post! First, your GORGEOUS photography! Second, your sweet and funny story about listening to your parents' stories as you learned to cook family heirloom recipes (and distracting your mum when it came to those greens hahaha!). And thirdly, of course - this recipe. Brilliant! What a great idea to use the Instant Pot for proving - where I live, we often don't have warm weather, either, and this is a great little trick to get perfectly risen dough! Thank you so much!

  16. Heard of this dish first time. Interesting name and a very nice recipe. Have never tried anything for this cuisine. Your recipe sounds so good that i feel like not only trying this but also exploring a few other from the cuisine too.

  17. This looks so good and I love the idea of making it for an afternoon coffee break!

  18. This is such a tasty treat. I love that it's made right in the instant pot to save lots of time too.

  19. I love a little sweet treat with my coffee in the morning and these look perfect. I have been loving my Instant Pot lately so this will be another great way to use it - thanks!

  20. Although I've never tried this treat before, I just know that I would love it as I love any pasties or doughnuts :) Your step-by-step photos are great and very helpful, will be trying this recipe next week with my niece, can't wait!

  21. These looks like a wonderful snack for tea time. It looks so cute and delicious! Love the step by step pictorial instructions you share!

  22. We absolutely love doughnuts and why did I never think of adding desiccated coconut in? Making these soon, my kids will love them. Delicious recipe!

  23. These look so beautiful and delicious! Had never heard of mandazi before and now I am so ready to try them. Thank you for the great recipe, your step by step method and instructions are great.

  24. They are such an amazing treat with a name sounds so fancy. Just by following the simple steps having simple ingredients in hand, one can have such a delectable dish to cherish. Too good


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