Rediscover classic Kenyan desserts that have been reimagined and updated by clever chefs around Nairobi.
Kashata & Korosho Mramba at Sarova Stanley
As a kid back in the day when the world was nothing but a cosmic amusement park, my sweet tooth held a dangerous adoration for kashata and korosho mramba. So you can imagine my excitement at The Sarova Stanley when Pastry Chef Joan Wanjohi got me to sample some of the desserts enjoyed at their famous Swahili themed Friday Breakfast. The breakfast is hosted at the Stanley’s Thorn Tree restaurant and serves more than 20 Swahili breakfast dishes such as kaimati, mahamri, samosas, mbaazi, crispy coated potatoes (viazi karai), bhajia, mkate mayai, madafu, muhogo wa nazi among other delicacies. My favourite part was sampling the kashata and korosho mramba. Kashata is an age-old Swahili candy made of desiccated coconut, sugar, water, and some saffron for color…pure magic! Korosho mramba is also a well known traditional sweet. The dessert composes of caramelized sugar and cashew nuts. Restaurant Manager Titus was such an amazing host. He made sure I’d settled in well, making the entire experience exceptional.
Chai Ice Cream & Mandazi at Nyama Mama
I must admit that I went to Nyama Mama with some pocket-sized doubt on how tea and ice-cream would make a match. Boy oh boy, was I in for a delectable surprise! Head Chef Lesiamon Ole Sempele took my palate to school with their mandazi and chai ice cream dessert. Nyama Mama restaurant is celebrated for how it ingeniously transforms Kenyan classic meals into unique dishes with a tasty contemporary touch. This, you would think, is the simple good old chai and ndazi but according to Chef Sempele, here is where the intricacies lie. “Apart from a generous chunk of love, it comprises of a warm cinnamon mandazi, with our homemade chai spiced ice cream and served with custard, a poached pear (which is slowly cooked in sweetened black tea, then chilled) and chocolate sauce,” Chef Sempele gladly states. There you go, and it tastes just as divine as it sounds. Nyama Mama is truly home for Kenyan home-style inspired African cuisine; the spirit of Africa stamped on its decor and the stimulating ambience will smash your senses.
Kaimati at Swahili Plate
Okay foodies, allow me to introduce to you one of my addictions, you can thank me later… kaimati from Swahili Plate. Kaimatis are sweet dumplings, traditionally from the Coastal part of Kenya. These can be enjoyed as a snack, a light bite before a meal, a sweet dessert with coffee or however your sweet tooth pleases. My favourite way to enjoy them is as an accompaniment with afternoon tea. Swahili Plate struck gold when they discovered the perfect balance of ingredients for their kaimatis. Just the right amount of cardamom, sugar, crunchiness, texture and all the other flavours that come in tow.