Maasa from Mali (Gluten Free "Pancake Doughnuts")

April 10, 2012
4 Ratings
Author Notes

Maasa are a sweet treat from Mali made with rice flour and millet flour, the two most common grains in the region. I first learned about it when I spent a week cooking and learning about Mali for my Global Table Adventure.

To me it tastes like a cross between a pancake and a doughnut - and is especially delectable with a glass of milk. More traditionally, Maasa is served fresh from roadside stands, hot from shimmering oil and blanketed in a cozy layer of powdered sugar.

One bite in, and you’ll see why I couldn’t settle on a name; this is a yeasty, pancakey, biscuity, doughnuty treat – crispy on on the outside and doughy on the inside. These are definitely decadent - you'll want to invite friends over to help you eat them up!

Note: the flours are available at natural grocers.

My original recipe is here: —Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

  • Makes 12-18
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups millet flour
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • confectioner's sugar, for dusting
In This Recipe
  1. First, add boiling water to 1/2 cup milk. Then add in the sugar and yeast. Set aside for a few minutes until frothy.
  2. Next, whisk together millet flour, brown rice flour, and baking powder.
  3. Now, combine the yeasty milk mixture with the flour mixture. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, a little at a time, stopping when you reach a thick batter. Now, let the batter sit in a cozy, warm spot… covered … for about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Pan fry the Maasa by the spoonful in a thin layer (about 1/8?) of hot oil until golden brown. Turn once. (Note - maasa have a tendency to soak up oil, so you may have to play around with how much you want, be sure to reapply the oil as it "disappears" - I prefer a thin sheen myself).
  5. Drain the crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside Maasa on paper towels and dust with a heavy coating of powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

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