Malawah (Somali Sweet Pancake)

Malawah Somali Sweet Potato Pancaked recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
118 Calories
7g Fat
9g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 118
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 193mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 5g
Calcium 85mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When it comes to cooking malawah (aka Somali sweet pancake), there are a couple of methods. In one method, the batter is poured and distributed within the pan by tilting the pan in a circular motion, as you would do when making ordinary pancakes. This is allowed to fry on medium heat for two minutes. The pancake will not require flipping to the other side but will have one golden brown side while the other remains white and spongy.

In the second method, the batter is poured in and then flipped over to brown on the other side. Some people will pour the batter in a circular spiral which will be visibly evident when cooked. Others pour all the batter in the center of the pan and create the spiral by using a spoon.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or butter for frying)
  • Garnish: honey, butter, and sugar to serve

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for malawah
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Beat or whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Alternatively, mix them together with a hand-held blender.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Heat up a frying pan with enough butter or oil to lightly coat the surface.

    Frying oil
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  4. Ladle some batter into the pan and swirl such that the batter distributes to make a thin layer which spreads towards the curving sides of the pan

    Spread batter
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  5. Fry for about a minute or until lightly golden, then flip over and fry another minute or so on the other side.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Serve the malawah by spreading melted butter and honey on top or sprinkling some sugar on top.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack