Mandazi and Chai

The common pairing of mandazi and Chai can be found at any breakfast table or tea time in Kenya. Mandazi is essentially a doughnut. It is made with a sweet dough and fried, best served warmed. It is not seasoned with anything, served as is and great to dunk in Chai. When they are fresh, I like rolling them in cinnamon sugar, very tasty. I also eat them with peanut butter, honey, eggs, or dusted with powdered sugar then filled with jam for my version of a jelly doughnut. As is, it is merely a fried sweet bread served in small pieces so what you can do to make it less boring is limitless.

You might be envisioning spicy Chai typically found India or areas of the Middle East, but Chai here simply means tea and is made like the sweet drink you find at chain coffee shops (I won’t name any names). It is made with enough black tea to give it a caramel color, then layered with milk and flavored with sugar. So the result is more like warm sugar milk with a hint of tea.  If you are not a fan of your tea this way, you can order strong tea and it is simply hot water served with a tea bag so you can make it your preference. But if you order tea without being specific, or are invited to tea, you will end up with Chai the way they prefer to drink it, very sweet and milky.


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