Kashata is a traditional East African sweet sold in markets and on almost every street corner all the way from Somalia to Tanzania. It is rather like a Bounty bar without the chocolate!
We usually serve kashata with strong black coffee spiced with ginger.
Kashata (Coconut Candy)
1 ½ cups desiccated coconut or fresh grated coconut (about two small coconuts)
1 cup sugar
¾ cup water (for making the syrup)
½ cup water (for soaking desiccated coconut)
½ tsp. ground cardamom
Pinch of saffron to add colour
1. Grate the coconut and keep aside. If using desiccated coconut, mix with ½ cup water and keep aside.
2. Mix the sugar with ¾ cup of water and cook for about 4 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally and make sure the sugar doesn’t burn!
3. Add cardamom and saffron, and the grated or desiccated coconut (the water should be almost all absorbed. If not, add left over water to the sugar syrup).
4. Cook on a low heat, stirring until well mixed.
5. Pour on a greased plate. Flatten with a buttered knife and cut into the desired shapes before the sweet firms up. Alternatively, you can shape the mixture into balls once it is slightly cool.
6. Garnish with pistachio if you wish. Store in an airtight container.