While mithai(mitai) is a kind of collective term for various desserts in India, the coastal inhabitants of Malindi and East Africa at large are becoming much more specific: The Swahili use it to refer to deliciously fluffy yeast particles with icing.
The diamond-shaped mithai (mitai) are among the most delicious pastries found on the East African coast (and probably beyond). Because of the yeast dough, the taste of the pieces reminds a bit of Mahamri/Mandazi. However, mithai comes with a sugar coating. Thus mithai are primarily suitable as a side dish with tea or coffee, while Mahamri are more of an “all-purpose weapon” in terms of food. Curious? Then put on some tea or coffee and try the simple recipe!
Ingredients for Mithai
3 cups of flour.
1 sachet yeast
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup of yoghurt
oil for frying
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the mithai dough, all ingredients are mixed. The dough should be nice and soft, but not sticky, so add yoghurt and coconut milk slowly and gradually.
Knead the yeast dough vigorously for 15 minutes and then put it in a warm place to let it rise until it has approximately doubled in size. Then form three balls from the dough and roll them out into slices about 1/2 centimetre thick on a base dusted with a little flour.
Cut them with a knife into strips, which in turn are divided into small diamonds. The raw Mithai pieces are then fried in hot oil until they have a golden brown colour on both sides.
For the icing, put water, sugar and cardamom in a large pan and heat the mixture while stirring. When a kind of thin syrup has formed (do not caramelise), put the mithai in the hot pan and turn them until they are covered with white icing.
Take them out, cool them down and the yeast pieces are ready to eat!