Kashata -Spiced Peanut , Coconut and Sugar Candy . Just 4 ingredients. Easy peasy with no thermometer needed.
Growing up, I never quite understood the appeal of kashata. Whenever, we made a visit to briqueterie (the best out door grill meat joint) there was always a street vendor trying to shove these at us. It is quite funny because the air would be filled with perfume of grilled meat wafting through the atmosphere, and there you had these sugary peanuts. I just did not get it. I wasn’t into kashata –Maybe it was the spice combination, maybe not! – I guess enjoyed the meat more.
My sister on the other hand, used up all her savings for these sugary peanuts. I would often watch in amazement at her theatrics while eating these sugary peanuts, moaning and groaning with pleasure after each bite. Why it got to me, I don’t know? God alone knows… she would have traded me in, for some more kashata- if the opportunity presented itself. Yes indeed!
Kashata is a really popular Swahili sweet treat that is often sold and enjoyed in most parts of Eastern Africa (Tanzania, Kenyan, Uganda). It is sometimes present in other parts of Africa where you have a Muslim community like in my hometown Yaoundé, Cameroon.
These sugary snacks are made with freshly grated coconut or peanuts or a combination of both. Some people use food dye to make it more appealing, especially when it is made with only coconut. Here ,I used peanuts and a little bit of shredded coconut and coconut milk for added flavor. Resist the temptation to stir -stirring or jostling of any kind can cause the sugar to begin crystallization.
Use the handle and swirl the syrup until thick, just before it starts to caramelize, that is the time to add the peanuts. This happens quickly so stay close. Enjoy!
- 2 cups roasted peanuts shells and skin peeled lightly chopped
- ½ cup coconut milk water
- ½ cup coconut flakes optional
- 1/2 teaspoon of each cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg spice
- 1 ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Spray about an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside
- In a large heavy sauce- pan combine granulated sugar, coconut milk, cardamom and salt.
- Cook over medium high heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring when the sugar has dissolved .You may swirl pan to prevent mixture from burning. (Stirring helps form crystallization which you do not want during this process)
- Continue to cook, until mixture thickens and sugar just starts to caramelize- about 10 minutes or more depending on stove You may use a spoon to check for thickness.
- Finally add peanuts and coconut, quickly mix until all the ingredients have been fully combined . Remove immediately and spread mixture onto prepared pan.
- Let it cool completely and firms up, then use a sharp knife to break into pieces. Store in airtight container.