Malawi lies landlocked in southeast Africa. It was formerly known as Nyasaland. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”. Lake Malawi, which takes up a third of Malawi’s area is a huge freshwater lake, lined with excellent beaches and filled with colorful fish, as well as the occasional hippo and crocodile. Lake Malawi was once called “The Lake of the Stars” by the famed Scottish explorer David Livingstone, because lantern lights he saw from the fishermen’s boats resembled the stars at night.
Malawi has been independent from Britain since 1964. President Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled for more than 25 years until democratic elections in 1994 brought in new leadership.
Apparently Malawi is the only country in the world that has a Carlsberg factory (with the exception, of course, of Denmark) – so Carlsberg beer is sold here at just about 35p!
Highlights for the visitor are aplenty with several wildlife national parks and reserves (Nyika, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe and Majete to name a few), the beaches of Likoma Island, Mt Mulanje and the impressive Manchewe Falls.
Popular cuisine of Malawi includes different types of fish, nsima (ground corn), kachumbari (tomato & onion salad) and kondowole (cassava flour & water). They also enjoy tea & coffee, so I opted to cook a dish called Mandasi (doughnuts) which are generally served with a hot drink. We had some family visiting for the weekend so I served these for breakfast alongside Yovo Doko fritters from Benin and the kids really tucked in!!
Makes 12 doughnuts
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
2 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsps of baking powder
2 tbsps of sugar
1 beaten egg
1 cup of milk
Vegetable oil for frying
Mix the flour, salt, baking power in a bowl. Add the sugar, egg, milk and beat until smooth.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into a deep fat fryer with hot oil and fry until golden brown, turning once.
Drain on kitchen towel and serve with a dusting of icing sugar.