Thursday, 2 June 2011

Childhood memories and 'Kokotendes' :-)

Eid at my Nursery school in Nairobi was a very special event. Other than having the day off, we used to have a whole day in the week to just celebrate and enjoy.
I remember my little 5 year old self feasting on crispy orange 'jelebis' (an indian sweet treat that is made by deep frying a batter and then soaking it in sweet syrup), shakkarparay (a fried doughy sweet)  chocolates, strawberry flavoured milkshake with a dollop of icecream floating in it and my ultimate favourite...Kokotende!!!

What is kokotende???.. well its a traditional African sweet made out of dough that is shaped in to cute little shells, deep fried and then coated in a sugar syrup. These are Divine!..especially when they're made extra browned and extra crispy (my personal preference!!)
The original name was Kokwa Za Tende, which is a swahili name that means date-seeds, but due to mispronounciation by the 'Wahindi' (local indians), it got shortened to Kokotende..and that's what its known as until today.

Anyway, my mum <3 and I have a very similar taste in foods and when I mentioned it to her that I want to give it a go and make some of these she encouraged me. I was a bit skeptical because I'm not one who fries a lot in my kitchen and I'm usually into baking or desserts.

I had the perfect recipe handy thanks to my friend/aunt Fauzia from Fauzia's kitchen fun. Her recipes never ever fail me and I know that she's tried and tested everything so its safe to give her recipes a shot. I will post a link to her Facebook page at the bottom of this entry.

The recipe was surprisingly easy, even though it involved making a dough (which is one of the things that has caused me grief in the kitchen). It was simple and straightforward and managed to come together in only a couple of minutes. I then had to roll up little balls of the dough and used a fork to roll out little shell-like shapes.
After frying them until they turned a golden brown, I coated them in a sugar syrup that hardened.

That was it. All done!!..with brilliant results.
I quickly hopped in to the car and couriered some to my parents place. Seeing my mummy taste them and say that they were delicious was all that I needed :-)
Whats more, I got a seal of approval from the Taste Tester when he got home from work. YAY!!

I would definitely recommend giving these a go.

I'm looking forward to Eid now, because now I can have my kokotendes :-)

Here's the recipe (courtesy of Fauzia)

2 cups flour
4 tbsp fine semolina
1 tsp baking powder
half tsp cardamon powder
2 tbsp melted butter
milk/water or coconut milk 3/4 to 1 cup
egg white (optional)
pinch of salt

Knead together the ingredients to a dough, not too soft not too hard. Form tiny balls n shape using a fork, by pressing the tiny ball of dough on the back of a fork and rolling it away to give a perfect sea-shell shape. Then fry on low heat until golden n crispy. If you fry on too high heat, they will be soft on the inside, and you want these super crisp. So once the oil is hot enough, put them in and then immediately lower the heat and keep stirring, let them gradually colour up to a lovely golden brown. Drain and set aside then make the sugar coating:

Sugar coating

1 cup sugar
half cup water
drop of vanilla
pinch of cardamon

Boil until thick n sticky, add the fried kokwas n toss, then spread out on a pan to dry. Store in airtight container!

Check out Fauzia's kitchen fun here

Take care everyone :-)


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