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A picture of a plate of mahamri.

Mahamri recipe

The best mahamri recipe! These mahamris are perfectly spiced, soft, delicious, and perfect for you to serve for breakfast, brunch, or to enjoy as a snack, paired up with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Course Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine East African, Kenyan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 64
Calories 107kcal


  • Mixing bowl
  • electric mixer optional
  • cling film (saran wrap)


  • cups all purpose flour set aside at least two cups for rolling out the dough (dusting), or for using if your dough feels too sticky.
  • ¾ cup regular granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cardamon powder (iliki)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or margarine)
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • ¾ cup heavy coconut milk, at room temperature (use regular milk if you do not have coconut milk)
  • ½ teaspoon light coconut milk, also at room temperature (use regular milk if you do not have coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt)
  • 4 cups neutral cooking oil, such as sunflower oil (see notes)


  • Using a small cup, activate the yeast by mixing it with the light coconut milk. Mix in a quarter teaspoon of sugar to speed up the process, cover and keep in a warm place in your kitchen. You will know it is ready to use when it foams up.
    1 tablespoon instant yeast, ½ teaspoon light coconut milk, also at room temperature
  • In a bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, sugar, cardamom, and a pinch of salt. Crumble in the butter or margarine, then make a well in the centre. Add the activated yeast, yoghurt and heavy coconut milk then use your hands to knead until all the ingredients come together, and the dough is smooth. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Feel free to add a few tablespoons of oil to the mahamri dough when kneading, to make it softer.
    3¾ cups all purpose flour, ¾ cup regular granulated sugar, ¾ teaspoon cardamon powder (iliki), pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup heavy coconut milk, at room temperature, 1 tablespoon yoghurt
  • Cover the bowl with saran wrap (cling film), or a kitchen cloth and place it in a warm place in your kitchen, to rest for at least 30 minutes (overnight if you can).
  • Once the dough has rested, transfer it to a floured rolling board or a clean kitchen countertop. Divide the dough into 8 portions, and smoothen each portion between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Roll out each portion of dough to a circle, about 20 cm in diameter and ¼-inch (6mm) thick, then cut into 8 triangles or to your desired shapes.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot to 350°F (180°C). Fry each mahamri for 2-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer them to a kitchen or paper towel-lined bowl to drain. Serve your mahamri immediately or store them in suitable bags or containers for later.
    4 cups neutral cooking oil, such as sunflower oil


  • Nutritional information is considered an estimate, based on tools that this website uses. It will vary, depending on the type of products used. Make sure to calculate your own nutritional information and use this as a guide. If in doubt then always speak to a nutritional specialist. The calculation in this recipe uses a 50 percent absorption rate of cooking oil.
  • seeing that yeast feeds on sugar, you can speed up its activation by combining it with milk and a quarter teaspoon of sugar. Place this in a warm place in your kitchen, to rise.
  • always test the temperature of the oil before frying using a simple kitchen thermometer. Don't own one? Simply drop a small piece of dough or stick the bottom of a wooden spoon in the oil. You know it is ready to use if bubbles form around the wood and it floats up or if the small test dough rises up.
  • do not be tempted to use too little oil! It should be just enough for them to sink in, in the first few seconds of frying. Contrary to what you may think, using too little oil will only make them soggy!
  • Do not overmix the dough as this leads to extra gluten development, which will make them chewy and hard.
  • Avoid frying at a temperature that is too low or too high. Too low a temperature will make the crusts hard and the mahamri greasy. On the other hand, they will end up burning or cooking up too quickly on the crust before the dough is cooked inside if the oil is too hot.


Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg