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Namibian Breakfast Pancakes: Oshikwiila (Millet/Mahangu Pancake)

Namibian Breakfast Pancakes: Oshikwiila (Millet/Mahangu Pancake)

Oshikwila, commonly referred to as mahangu pancakes, is a typical Namibian delicacy cooked from pearl millet (mahangu) flour. It's a wonderful and healthy alternative for breakfast or a snack.

Oshikwila's main ingredient, mahangu, has been a mainstay crop in Namibia for generations and has roots that date back to pre-colonial times. Mahangu has been a crucial source of nourishment for Namibia's indigenous groups, especially the Ovambo people.

The dish is prepared in a creative way that showcases Namibian culinary traditions. Mahangu was traditionally ground manually before the invention of modern milling techniques, resulting in coarse flour. Oshikwila was among the meals made with this flour later on.

Preparation Time

20 minutes



1 cup mahangu (pearl millet) flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup water 

1 egg 

Cooking oil 

1/4 cup sugar 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Butter or jam for serving 


  • Combine the mahangu flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and mix them. 
  • Crack the egg into the dry ingredients and mix well. Then gradually add water while stirring to form a thick, smooth batter. Adjust the amount of water to achieve the desired consistency. 
  • Place a frying pan on medium heat and add a generous amount of cooking oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour a ladleful of the batter into the pan to form a pancake. You can make the pancakes as small or large as you like.
  • Allow the pancake to cook on one side until it starts to set and the edges turn golden brown, for about 3 minutes. 
  • Carefully flip the pancake to cook the other side. Continue cooking until both sides are golden brown.
  • Remove the cooked pancake from the pan and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Repeat the process.
  • Serve hot!