Jumbo magwinya

Jumbo magwinya

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  • 16-20
  • Easy
  • 10 minutes resting time

"So Kefilwe and I are both from same area in Soweto. I may be older than her in years, but our experience with food is similar – ko kasi (in the township) you have magwinya for breakfast. And when you move to the champagne northern suburbs of Joburg you miss that simple life, and you have to learn how to make your own magwinya. A few years back Kefi and I lived in the same suburb and I’d make magwinya, and she’d come over for magwinya in her PJs. Nice life! She would always ask me to make some for her, but most of the time it wasn’t possible. Next thing, babes was making her own magwinya at home, all by herself. They looked and tasted so good. I guess that’s what I’ve always loved about Kefilwe – she’s a girl who GOES FOR IT! I had to ask her to share her recipe with us." – Chef Nti


  • 500 g flour (or cake flour without raising agent)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t instant yeast
  • ½ t salt (optional)
  • 500 ml warm water
  • 1 T vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-drying

Cooking Instructions

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Add the warm water and oil, and begin to mix with your hands into a soft dough.

3. Once it has been mixed very well, cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for an hour – it should double in size.

4. Mix the dough again, kneading it with your hands (to get a softer dough) and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

5. Heat up enough oil in a pot for deep-frying. It should be medium heat.

6. Scoop out large serving spoons of dough and drop them into the hot oil. Use another spoon to push the dough into the oil if it helps. Fry the magwinya in batches until golden brown, turning them over to ensure even browning. Once ready, scoop the magwinya out of the pot and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

7. Serve as they are, or with savoury mince.

Cook's note: Ensure that the oil is heated on medium to prevent the magwinya from browning too quickly without fully cooking on the inside.

Extracted with permission from Chef Nti: My modern African kitchen, by Nthabiseng Ramaboa. Photography: Craig Fraser, Styling: Nicki Werner, Recipes: Chef Nti. Published by Quivertree.

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Chef Nti Recipe by: Chef Nti
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Multi-talented TV Chef, MC, author and entrepreneur, Nthabiseng Nti Ramaboa – aka Chef Nti is on a mission to celebrate, innovate and share South African flavours and culinary culture.

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