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Swahili sweet recipes: the Vikokoto

A sweet recipe with Indian origins

09-09-2020 di redazione

Visheti or Vikokoto are sweet, crunchy, sugar-coated fried dough morsels, one of the many specialities of the coastal area from Mombasa to Lamu, Kenya. They are very similar to Indian shakar paray but, as is often the case in Swahili cuisine, the influences of different cultures have made them even more appealing and exotic. They are really easy to prepare and keep well for a week or more, although they are so good that they are addictive and hardly ever last this long.
Here is our recipe:

Ingredients for the pasta

2 cups of flour for all uses
1 level tablespoon of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder (you could use vanilla essence, lemon peel, ginger, cinnamon or any other aroma of your choice, even more than one)
1/2 cup of melted margarine, hot
1/2 cup of water, at room temperature (to be added gradually as needed )

Ingredients for the syrup  

1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of water
a few drops of vanilla essence
1 pinch of cardamom powder

Instructions

Put the flour in a bowl, add the salt, yeast and cardamom (or any other flavouring you wish to use). Mix all the ingredients well. Then add the melted hot margarine and rub with fingertips to obtain crumbs. Gradually add about half a cup of water at room temperature and knead until a soft dough is obtained. Be careful not to add all the water at once. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll them out to an average thickness of about 1cm each, cut them into strips and finally into small pieces. Once everything is done, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the bits of dough until golden brown, then drain them, set them aside and let them cool.
Then prepare the sugar coating. Put the sugar in a large frying pan, add the water, vanilla and cardamom. Let it simmer until it thickens slightly. Then pour all our fried vikokoto into the syrup; hold the pan on both sides and shake slightly. Continue stirring and blowing the morsels until the syrup crystallizes and forms a nice coating on the visheti. Do not panic if it does not happen immediately. You will know they are ready when the coating solidifies perfectly around each piece. Don't shake too vigorously because you run the risk of breaking or crumbling them.
Transfer them onto a plate and let them cool.

 

TAGS: ricette swahilivikokotovishetidolci swahili

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