This crunchy little ball is a very popular cookie in East and Central African countries. There has always been a lively trade with Arabian and Asian people along the East African coast. Swahili culture, language and cuisine is a result of the mingling of these influences with African traditions. The kashata cookie from Congo is a tasty mix of Swahili ingredients: peanuts, coconut, cardamom and sugar. The cookie can be made with just peanuts, just coconut or with both. I liked the combination of the two best. There is no need to turn on your oven for the kashata cookie from Congo, a stove and a saucepan to melt the sugar are all you need. I formed the cookies into balls but the sugar is very hot. If your hands are not heat proof just spread out the mixture and cut into pieces with a sharp knife. If you like this cookie, try my variation with quinoa: coconut quinoa cookie.
Kashata cookie from Congo
for about 15 cookies
75 grams fresh coconut
(or 70 grams unsweetened desiccated coconut moistened with 1 tablespoon water)
75 grams roasted unsalted peanuts
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
15 grams flour
225 grams unrefined cane suga
Grate the coconut with a coarse grater or blitz into little chunks in a food processor.
Crush the peanuts slightly. There should still be some whole peanuts left.
In a bowl mix the coconut, the peanuts, the salt, the cardamom powder and the flour.
Put the sugar in heavy bottomed saucepan and spread evenly. Melt the sugar over medium low heat. Only start stirring when most of the sugar has melted
Stir in the coconut mixture.
Spoon the mixture on a cookie tray lined with baking paper and spread out evenly. Let cool slightly and form little balls. Be careful, the sugar is hot. When you do not have heat proof hands or when the mixture cools off to much, just cut the ‘dough’ in pieces with a sharp knife.
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