Dumsor, and mango muffins with streusel

mago muffinsAnother Sunday, another power cut. One of the first words to learn in Accra is dumsor, off-on. From Wikipedia: “Dumsor pronounced “doom-sore” (or more appropriately dum sɔ, “off and on”) is a popular Ghanaian term used to describe persistent, irregular and unpredictable electric power outages.” Despite frequent political assurances that dumsor is over, power cuts are frequent here. Not enough gas coming from Nigeria, late rains, maintenance works — who knows? It’s an election year for Ghana, so this gets very political. Even on Twitter there is a #Dumsor tag.

This was one of my favourite dumsor news from last year: the then-Power Minister being pushed on the power cuts, complaining that “Even God can’t give light all the time that is why we have nights (dum)—when the sun goes to sleep in peace. so why all the pressure?” Officially there is no dumsor in Ghana right now, but we see the power cuts here at least every other day. We manage, we have a diesel-run generator for our compound, so if the power stays off all day here (which happens) at least we still have power for cooking, and keeping water pressure on. It is noisy but worth it. In the office there are also generators, the A/C may not work then but at least computers do (so we can work, though very hot). But for many small businesses the unreliable electricity supply is devastating, and running a generator is expensive. Even in central Accra like parts of Osu there can be lights-off for 40 hours.

power cut in WindhoekThere was a power cut last week in Windhoek, and people were afraid: they are not used to power cuts like here. Better infrastructure, of course, no need for generators.

Anyway, I had plans to bake and thanks to our generator, the oven still works. It was only 33C in the kitchen, not too bad, and well worth it once the muffins came out. It’s another reminder how fortunate we are, thinking of the many sweltering right now until the power is back. No wonder battery-operated fans are so available here (malaria is prevalent).


Dumsor mango muffins with streusel
2 medium eggs
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
75 grammes plain yoghurt
50 grammes brown sugar
35 grammes white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla sugar (or use vanilla extract)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
150 grammes plain white wheat flour
pinch of salt
3/4 cup diced mango

Preheat oven to 200 C and line a 12-count muffin pan with muffin papers. Dump all muffin ingredients except fruit in a bowl and stir until it just comes together, then stir in mango. Spoon the batter into the 12 muffin papers in tin.

30 grammes soft butter
30 grammes brown sugar
2 tbs oatmeal
20 grammes flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt butter to soften it a bit if needed; here it melts as soon as it is out of the fridge. Stir streusel ingredients together, spoon a little on top of each batter-filled muffin paper. Bake for at 200C for 15 minutes or so, until muffin tops are golden.

mango muffins

8 thoughts on “Dumsor, and mango muffins with streusel

  1. Those look excellent! We also get power outages in Bangkok, though fewer than before – enough that buildings tend to have generators to run the lift and hall lights, but not enough to have a designated word for it. When there was a lot of construction on our street, transformers would blow out all the time.

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