Life. Love. Food


Lamu remains one of my favorite places to visit in Kenya. This slow, sleepy and stunningly beautiful island is a place I love to escape to when I want to unwind and relax be it with company or alone. I was last in Lamu in 2017 and I have been planning to go back since. I miss the warm & genuinely kind people. I miss white sand in my toes during a dawn beach stroll. I miss watching sunset while sailing a dhow. I miss humid nights and falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing outside my window. I miss the billions of cats & donkeys that wonder on the narrow streets lol! I miss everything about Lamu and of course, I especially miss the food! We all know that Swahili cuisine is freaking amazing! Today I am particularly missing mahamri, and that is what we are going to make today and enjoy during this current Lock-Down period. But best believe, once this is all over and it is safe to travel, I can’t wait to have my braids smell like sea water again!

Let’s get into today’s recipe.

I made a dope vid to accompany the blog post. Do watch below, and subscribe!

PREP TIME: 1hr    COOK TIME:  20min       MAKES: 16


1/4 cup of sugar

1 cup of coconut milk

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of yeast

1 teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom


To your bowl, add your flour, the yeast, your sugar and the freshly ground iliki. Iliki is cardamom and is a mandatory spice for mahamri. I prefer using freshly ground cardamom, however store bought ground cardamom is totally fine. For my cardamom, I toasted them on an ungreased pan first. This makes the flavor potent because of the oils released. I then released the black seeds form the pods and ground them to my spice.

For mahamri, yeast is the rising agent of choice. Yeast does have a flavor to it, and it adds to the overall taste of mahamri. The small sachets cost 14 bob and very much obtainable in any well stocked supermarket. For authentic mahamri, use yeast, not baking powder. I also used self raising flour in the past, and it did not taste as authentic. So please follow the recipe as is.

Mix the dry ingredients and once combined, proceed to add your coconut milk – bit by bit- mixing with each addition. The ratio of flour: coconut milk that I find works best is 2:1. Keep that in mind when you are making more or fewer mahamri than mine so that your dough is neither too hard nor too runny.

Once all the coconut milk is in proceed to knead with your hands until the dough is soft, malleable and no longer sticking onto your hands. The kneading will take about 15 minutes. Your dough will be ready for resting once it is soft, but no longer sticking to your hands as I showed you on today’s YouTube vid at 8.11-8.16 .

However if you are kneading with a kneading hook, it should take 8 minutes.

Once done, let this rest and rise for about 40 min.

Then divide the dough into quarters and allow it to rise for an additional 20 minutes.

Roll it out into 1/4 cm thick circular dough and slice into quarters.

Proceed to fry for about 2 minutes until golden brown, swollen and airy. I get so exited when they swell and puff up!!! Come see how beautifully they puffed up from 9.54 – 10.07.

Once done,  serve. Aren’t they gorgeous?!

Perfectly soft, beautifully fragrant and 100% really delicious as well. They are classicly served with mbaazi, but I love mine with tea and other savoury items of a breakfast/brunch spread. Whichever way you choose to have mahamri, it is always a guaranteed feast!!

Do pass by my channel for the complimentary YouTube video and be sure to subscribe as well!


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  1. Tsumah

    No place better than a home where a girl prepares sumptuous meals

    • Kaluhi

      No better place than a home where everyone learns to cook because cooking does not come as a microchip preinstalled in solely girls heads. Cooking is a lifeskill for all human beings to learn.


  2. 💕 G 💕

    Instead of coconut milk from the supermarket, can one blend a fresh coconut with warm milk and use that?

    I thought yeast needs something warm to activate it? Will it activate with the sugar and the cold milk?

    • Kaluhi

      1. Yes fresh coconut milk is fine because it is coconut milk.

      2. I used Instant yeast. Instant yeast DOES NOT need activation, that’s why it is called instant yeast. But if you are using the other type of yeast, which will require activation, do the necessary steps for activation.

  3. 💕

    Warm water….

    • Kaluhi

      What about it?

  4. Marta

    You’re introducing me to so many new places and dishes from Kenya! I’m really thankful for the education in culture.

  5. Erika | Black Girls Who Brunch

    These sound amazing! I love cardamom. Best of all it is great to learn about new dishes from different countries. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kaluhi

      Happy you loved this Erika!

  6. Desirée

    Thank you for being so detailed! It made following this recipe so easy!

  7. Katrina

    I love learning about different dishes from different countries!!

    • Kaluhi

      To many more!

  8. Immaculate Ruému

    Last summer I tried some delicious Kenyan Chipatis and I loved it. Mahamri is something I will be trying next 🙂

    • Kaluhi

      You will fall inlove with both!!

  9. Christy Hoover

    This looks like just the comfort food that my entire soul needs right now. So simple and easy to follow.

    • Kaluhi

      Actual comfort!!! Hope you get to try this out!

  10. Brenda M

    Amazing ,amazing tried it and guess what got the best mahamri ever.I used to use cow milk,hehe now am educated .
    Thanks love

    • Kaluhi

      Mahamri must must have coconut milk. Hope you make them right and enjoy them next time.


  11. Jazz

    I love the touch that the cardamom adds. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Kaluhi

      You’re welcome!

  12. Gitts

    Great recipe! they came out delicious and with the white line on the side.

  13. Shicqo

    Usinichekelee… Nkuulize mafuta lazima ikue moto before ni anze kufry sindio?

    • Kaluhi

      That goes without saying. You cannot fry anything in cold oil. Be it chicken or mahamri or samosas, your oil must be hot to facilitate the frying

  14. Pina

    ehe… now I see why my mahamris backfired.
    I used baking powder and wora. Let me try this out and tell you how it works out.

    • Kaluhi

      I am very sorry to repeat once more you what you made was not mahamri. Yeast and coconut milk MUST be there for this to be mahamri

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