If using active dry yeast, add yeast to 1⁄2 cup of warm water, do not stir, add 1 tsp of sugar on top, let sit.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour, 3⁄4 cup sugar, and cardammom powder, if using instant yeast, add that too.
Once homogeneous, combine with yeast/water and oil/butter.
Knead until dough forms for about 5 minutes.
The dough should be wet and tacky but shouldn’t stick to your fingers.
If the dough is sticking, flour your work surface and keep kneading, repeat as necessary.
Form the dough into a round ball and place in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 4-6 hours to rise in a humid location at preferably 75-85 degrees.
If it’s a cold day, boil a pot of water and place in the oven underneath the rack, place bowl of dough on the rack above the water. This will ensure a humid environment and bring the temperature up to the optimal range.
Once the dough has risen, knead for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute and split up into balls roughly 1.5 times the size of a golf ball.
Flour each ball generously and roll until approximately 6-8 inches in diameter. The dough should be floured enough to not stick to anything at this point.
Cut into four slices and deep fry in very hot oil, flipping halfway through until golden brown on each side. The mandazis should puff up and float on the top of the oil while frying.
Leave to cool on a paper towel to soak up excess oil and optionally serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.