Mombasa Biscuits

Mombasa Biscuits are little crisp deep-fried biscuits eaten all over East Africa. Serve with tea or coffee.


12 oz. flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

8 fl. oz. water sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg and water. Stir gently with a wooden spoon or spatula to mix the egg and water. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. When all the liquid has been absorbed, use your hands to knead and mix the dough lightly until it comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. If it is too wet, add more flour.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and elastic. Wash and dry the bowl and return the dough to it. Cover the bowl and set it aside to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle i-inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares or circles.

Fill a large deep-frying pan one-third full with vegetable oil. Place the pan over moderate heat and heat the oil until it registers 350°F on a deep-fat thcromom-cter or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil browns in 55 seconds.

Place the dough pieces, four or five at a time, in the oil, and cook them for 3 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove the biscuits from the oil and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep the biscuits warm while you fry the remaining dough pieces in the same way.

When all the biscuits have been cooked, pile them on a plate .and serve immediately.