Qamdi or Mahamri is a triangular sweet fried bread from Somalia. This is similar to doughnut though it varies in the shape also less in sweet.
I was inspired by this recipe where I also made the Fataa’ir Farmaajo from the same author. She writes that in cities across Somalia, qamdi, as well as bur which is the Fry bread, is a common fare served in food stalls and a common street food.
Qamdi is part of the East African Fried Bread family that has similar breads like the Mahamri and Mandazi. These are supposed to have originated from Swahili. It was interesting to note the various spellings adapted by different places like mahamri, mamri, mandazi, maandazi, maandaazi, qamdi (Somalia), khamdi (Somalia), ba khamri (Yemen), Pain Frit Sucré .
Coming to Qamdi, some recipes replace the water in the recipe with milk or coconut milk. Some add powdered milk, and there are recipes that use baking powder instead of yeast. I went with the Eggless recipe the author had shared which used coconut milk.
I was actually elated when I read that in Somalia, qamdi is paired with samosas. Otherwise, you can enjoy it as a snack along with a cup of shaah cadeys (spiced Somali tea with milk). It is not considered a bread as such, the way it is in Kenya and Tanzania, where it is common to use mandazi for scooping up maharage (cooked beans).
Traditionally Qamdi dough was prepared a day ahead for it to rise overnight. However, modern recipes use instant dry yeast which cuts the prep time to 2½ hours. I made half of the original recipe and got about 6 qamdis. I never expected it to be so delicious, even without the samosas stuffed in.
I got this dish quite early in the search and the entire task became simplified as we always struggle with this letter. Getting a real dish with this letter and not resorting to adjectives make it more satisfying.
From what I searched, Qamdi is probably the only possible dish starting with this letter which also is a street food. Furthermore, when you add a dish like a samosa to it, this becomes irresistible.
In this A to Z International Street Foods:
A for Arancini
B for Bunny Chow
C for Chatamari
D for Dürüm
E for Empanada
F for Fataa’ir Farmaajo
G for Gilgeori Toast
H for Hua Juan Bao
I for Imqarrun il-Forn
J for Jasuben’s Pizza
K for Khachapuri
L for Lángos
M for Mofo Anana
N for Nachos Supreme
O for Okonomiyaki
P for Panelle
Step by Step Pictures for making Qamdi
Qamdi ~ Fried Bread from Somalia
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Instant Yeast
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Water
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Cooking Oil for deep frying
In the mixing bowl, take all the ingredients except water and mix well.
Then slowly add water and knead to a soft dough. Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
Divide the risen dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Press down the ball to flatten it into a disc. Using a rolling pin, roll out each disc into a circular shape of a 1/4 inch thickness. Using a knife, cut each circle into quarters.
After preparing all dough this way, cover and let the qamdi dough proof for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a Kadai, and when hot, reduce to medium heat.
Drop the qamdi into the oil and as soon as it surfaces, start splashing it with the hot oil to help it to puff up. Turn when the bottom becomes golden brown, about 1 minute. Fry the other side for another minute. Drain onto kitchen towels.
Once you are able to handle it, slit open on one side and stuff with samosas and enjoy!