Kenyan Lemon Mandazi Recipe

Mandazi is a popular snack in Kenya. I took the liberty to make these lemon mandazi because I noticed people would ask do you have to use milk or eggs in mandazis?

I hope this recipe proves to you that you do not have to…and your mandazi will just be as equally tasty. These mandazi with lemon recipe does not use eggs nor milk nor butter so it is most definitely vegetarian,vegan, lactose friendly. If your gluten intolerant well my friend I cannot help you there….


Serves 3-4: yield 16 medium mandazi


  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • Extra flour for dusting
  • Icing sugar optional (to garnish)
  • Oil for deep fat frying(veg oil i.e sunflower, corn oil, canola oil and the likes)

*For all-purpose flour use 1 cup to 1 tsp baking powder.*

 lemon mandazi recipe-sheenas kitchen


  1. In a bowl sift in the flour or beat the flour with a dry fork or whisk to remove any lumps. (This step just helps to aerate the flour making it light and fluffy to better absorb the ingredients.)
  2. Combine the margarine(room temperature) with the flour and mix together to make some sort of small breadcrumb lumps
  3. Create a well in the center and add, sugar, salt, vanilla essence and the grated lemon zest.
  4. Gently add some warm water in the center and mix with a fork as you dissolve the sugar start folding in the flour from the from the center as you gently pour in the water.
  5. Once the dough has loosely come together, start to knead it with your hands.
  6. On a clean surface, sprinkle some extra flour and start to work your dough kneading it until it is soft and elastic… This will take about 10 or more minutes of serious kneading
  7. Once your dough is soft and semi stretchy, let your dough rest. Place it in a bowl greased with very little oil, so your dough doesn’t stick, cover the dough directly with Clingfilm and cover the bowl with a warm damp cloth. Rest it for about 10 minutes.
  8. Divide your dough into 4 balls this depends on the size of mandazis you want. Less division if you want the large mandazis.
  9. Cover the other divided sections, and start rolling out one of the balls and cut it into whatever shape you fancy. I cut mine in to triangular shape by rolling the dough into a circle and cut it half way lengthwise, then across to make four quarters
  10. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown on all sides.
  11. Drain and serve warm sprinkled with some icing sugar.

Get a copy of your full printable Recipe Here: KENYAN LEMON MANDAZI 

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