Mabuyu (Swahili for Baobab seeds) are one of the must-haves whenever you visit Mombasa. The seeds are normally white once scrapped off the gourd then cooked. Yeah they are actually cooked. I found out not so long ago.

My favorite ones are the cardamon ones and I totally don’t mind having a colored mouth(red/green/purple) afterwards.

So if you ever come across raw baobab seeds and you are wondering what to do with them, this is what you will require and do to make them look as yummy as the ones above.


2 cups of sugar

2 cups of water

1/2 cup of mabuyu flour

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder(optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cardamon(optional)

Red or any food colour preferred.


  • In a pan, add water, sugar, salt, chilli powder, food coloring, cardamon and cook on high heat stove.
  • Mix and let it cook. Once the syrup starts to form, you will see lots of bubbles foaming. Keep stirring as it cooks.
  • When the syrup starts to bubble down, it means the syrup has started to thicken, check if the syrup is sticky (not too sticky) then add the baobab seeds and mix well.
  • Continue to cook as you stir and then add the mabuyu flour and mix well. Continue cooking until the syrup starts to crystallize and starts coating the mabuyu seeds.
  • Remove the perfectly coated mabuyu and place them on a plate. Let them cool completely.
  • After it’s all cooled down, it’s ready to be savored. You should try this at home!



Mandazi (plural for ndazi) are a common deep fried dough from East Africa. You will never miss them in local shops and homes; in all shapes and sizes. They are originally a Swahili food (from the coast) and are sometimes called Swahili buns. The Swahilis expertise in preparing mandazi is exemplary. They know how to how to make them soft and real tasty using a variety of ingredients. I am not Swahili (Lol) but I make some pretty great ones. I can eat a full sack in one seating. So much like I used to when I was kid.

I prefer making mandazi at home whenever I feel like eating them instead of buying them from the shops. Reason being, the store bought ones might not be as fresh.

Black pepper is usually not a common ingredient in pastry but there’s something absolutely delightful about sugar and spice put together. Beyond its heat and sharp bite, black pepper enhances the ability to taste food; it stimulates our salivary glands so we experience flavors more fully. And it also gives food great aroma. Who doesn’t love to eat food that smells great?
Have a look at the recipe below and try it out.

You will need:-
3 cups of Wheat flour
100gms Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons ground Black pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
Vegetable oil


In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon. Add a cup of lukewarm water and thoroughly mix till it forms a dough.


Cover with a clean table cloth and let it sit for 10minutes.
Flour a clean dry working surface and place the dough on it. Roll it out till it thins out a little. Do not make it too thin.


Using a shaped pastry cutter, cut out the small circles.
In a deep frying pan, place some vegetable oil; enough for the dough not to touch the base when frying. Heat the oil till it’s hot. Don’t let it smoke otherwise it’ll be too hot then and the dough will burn. Cut off a tiny piece of the dough and gently place in the oil to check if it’s hot enough (normally it’ll bubble)


Place the cutout pieces, in the oil. Frying them till they’re brown on both sides. Using a holey/slotted spoon, gently scoop them out of the hot oil.
Mandazi can be served on their own as snacks, with some curry or some great masala tea.