Exotic Breakfast Ideas: Kenyan Mahamri and Chai
If you think of Kenyan breakfasts, the first aroma recollection is the one of a steaming cup of chai.
Every day in Kenya starts with a hot cup of black tea, brewed in water and milk in a 1:1 ratio, making it very nourishing and soothing. Kenyans will also add a generous amount of sugar, which I normally skip because I like my drinks sugar free but it’s certainly a must for most people who like this tea steaming hot, super sweet and rigorously served in a cup filled to the brim.
The second scent coming back to your memory is the cardamom and coconut delicate fragrance of mahamri. These golden puffy triangles are a perfect accompaniment for a Kenyan cup of tea and are the perfect snack to nibble on through the day. At breakfast they are often eaten with pigeon beans in coconut sauce, particularly at the coast, but they are perfect even on its own or with any kind of curry. If stored in an airtight container they keep fresh for several days however they are pure magic when eaten immediately out of the frying pan.
Every time I make them at home, I still remember the day I first tasted them with the ever present Chai. I was sitting on a veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean, the breeze in my hair and my eyes lost searching the horizon. I could feel the heat building up in the air, still slightly fresh and moist from the night before, the light so bright reflecting on the white sand, the people strolling barefoot on the beach going about their day, the fishermen coming back with the catch of the day…
I am dreaming already. I hope the recipe will make you dream too. It’s super fast and easy. Give it a go and bring some exotic scent to your summer breakfasts.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. instant yeast
7 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom powder
3/4 cup heavy coconut milk
light coconut milk (enough to make a soft but not sticky dough. Add it slowly)
oil for deep frying
Mix the flour, the yeast, the sugar and the cardamon. Add some coconut milk and start kneading, adding more milk if you need, a little at a time until you have dough that is a soft but not sticky. Knead it for a few minutes. To check that it’s ready, cut the dough in half with a knife. You should see bubbles on the inside.
Divide the dough into two and let it double its size.
Then halves the two doughs and make them into balls.
Roll each ball into a circle of quarter inch thick
Divide each circle into 4 sections.
Place all the triangles you have obtained on a lightly floured surface and let them rest covered for about an hour.
Heat a generous amount of sunflower oil or other vegetable oil in a frying pan and make sure it’s at the right temperature before you start cooking the mahamri.
Cook the on both sides till golden coloured.
Let them cool before placing them in airtight container for storage. If possible, eat them as soon as they are ready, still hot for the best result.