Mkate wa Sinia - Step by Step

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Two 6" cakes or One big cake

This is a Mombasa delicacy which tastes wonderfully with tea especially in Ramadhan...anyone who's been to East Africa will probably know this dish, it's a delicious soft cake that has a wonderful silky sieve-like texture and tastes exotic and amazing.

1 1/2 cups
(the thick and stubby, broken pieces kind of rice is preferable)
1 full cup
thick coconut milk
1 1/2 cups
light coconut milk
2/3 cup
(you can use half cup if you want less sweetness)
1 tsp.
instant yeast
1 tbsp.
cardamom powder
small non-stick frying pan
(about 6 inches)

Soak the rice overnight or for at least 5-6 hours

Drain the rice and pour half of it into the blender. Add the yeast and cardamon powder, half of the heavy coconut milk and half of the light coconut milk then add the remaining rice n the remaining milk so that the yeast and cardamon stays in between the layers of rice.

Grind for about 5mins, stopping at intervals.

Pour out the mixture, stir it with a wooden spoon and then pour it back into the blender and grind again for another 5mins. This makes sure that the rice is completely smooth.

Pour into an airtight container, cover tightly and let it sit for about 20mins to half an hour. The mixture will have risen to about double the original amount.

Pour in the sugar and stir it in thoroughly until it all dissolves. You can stir it in with your hand or a wooden spoon, avoid using metal spoon.

Once you're sure that the sugar is completely dissolved, melt the 1tbsp of margarine in the frying pan you will be using to make the cake and pour this margarine into your mixture. Stir again with a wooden spoon.

Pour half the mixture into the hot frying pan, lower the heat to just below medium and cover the pan. If you have 2 same size frying pans then u can do both at the same time. If not you can make the second cake once the first one is done! Turn on the grill in your oven to maximum so that it gets ready for browning the top of the cake once it's done cooking on the stove. Keep checking your cake every so often. Once the top of it has dried and looks firm, put the frying pan under the grill to brown the top. Make sure you protect the handle of your frying pan by covering it completely with foil so that it doesn't melt in the oven.

Once done to a nice golden brown color, let it cool a bit before removing gently from the pan. Do not be tempted to cut into it until it is quite cool to the touch otherwise it will be a gooey mess.

You can then use the pan to make the 2nd one.

1. COOKING ON THE STOVE:   You can see the tiny holes that have started forming on the surface as it starts cooking...this then forms the beautiful sieve-like texture inside. Notice that the handle is wrapped in foil well in advance. This is for later when we'll have to stick the pan under the grill. The foil helps protect the plastic handle from melting/burning.

2.  CLOSE UP OF THE MKATE WA SINIA:  You can see the tiny holes forming on the surface. Keep the pan covered during the time it's on the stove until the surface is nice and dry then uncover and place it under a very hot oven grill.

3.  MKATE WA SINIA, AFTER GRILLING:  Rice and Coconut Cake as it comes out of the oven after the surface has been broiled using the grill. Notice that the cake (mkate) pulls away from the edges once it's done. That's a sign that it's ready! :)

FINAL RESULTS!   This is a Mombasa delicacy which tastes wonderfully with tea especially in Ramadhan...anyone who's been to East Africa will probably know this dish, it's a delicious soft cake that has a wonderful silky sieve-like texture and tastes exotic and amazing.



AOA Fauzia

I just discovered your website few days ago and I have already tried the chicken bread and roses..they turned out delicious and perfect. Today I am thinking about trying Mkate wa Sinia but the problem is that I only have thick coconut milk, so if I will dilute it with water to make the light coconut milk, what should be the ratio of water and thick coconut milk in order to make one cup of light coconut milk.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thanks dear. You can use the ratio half heavy coconut milk and half water (or fresh milk).

ur meals r rilly nice mashallah

Quick swali: is it best made with actual rice or the rice flour? and when making it is the rice cooked or uncooked?

Thank you.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I use actual rice although you can easily use rice flour too. And the rice has to be uncooked, it will get cooked during the cooking process of this dish.

if i dnt have stove what can i used? pls help iwant to make it .pls email me procedure while cooking in a jiko

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I have not tried it on a jiko but basically follow the same procedure. First place a few coals underneath so the bottom is cooked, then cover and place coals on top until it is nicely coloured. InshaAllah it will be fine.

i tried your recipe today, it did turn out nice and soft but can you tell me how many minutes did you keep on the stove if i use one 10 "pan and was it on low heat plus when you put in the oven how many minutes did you keep till it turn brown.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I have never timed it on the stove-top but just keep an eye on it, once the top dries it is done. In the oven it took about 5-6 minutes to colour.

sorry to be asking so many questions, but i used 2 cups thick coconut milk instead of your measurement does that make any differnce to the recipe.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Did you alter the rest of the ingredients or just the coconut milk? If you altered just the milk and increased the amount when everything else remained the same, there is a chance that your batter would be too watery.

i altered the coconut milk by less 1/2 cup only as i thought i am using the thick milk but that answers my question as to why it took forever to dry - thanks love for all your answers

salaam fauzia, hope ramazan is going well ameen..
i wanted to know that i have only thick coconut milk can i leave out the light coconut milk as i dont have it. and can i soak the rice for 2-3 hours as i want to make this dish today.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thanks alhamdulillah the month is going very well. Simply dilute heavy coconut milk with water to make it light. The longer the rice is soaked the better the results.

salaam to u dear. Can i use normal cake pans instead of using frying pan? If not ,has the pan need to be a non stick frying pan?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You can use a normal pan just make sure to grease it well so the mkate doesn't stick. It doesn't have to be non-stick but it does turn out better in a non-stick pan.

Hi can i bake in this OVEN? temperature and time plz

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, have not tried baking it in the oven.

Assalam aleykum, first of all i would like to say i love your blog very helpful to some of us who are still dumb, but i want to ask a question, i made my mkate wa sinia but it came out really hard and tough to touch am not sure what i missed, also how can you make it if you can use a rice flour instead

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, did you make any changes to the recipe? It could be the mixture was not grinded well enough or not stirred properly OR maybe you over-cooked it? Have never tried with rice flour..

Thanks for your reply, no i did not change anything but i will definately try it again inshallah and i will let you know , jazakallah kheir

Asaalam alaykum

First I would like to thank you for all your recipes my family are realy enjoying themselves

I tried the Mkate wa Sinia but had the following chalenges:

1) Where can I get the stubby rice since its not available in the super martket what brand name?

2) While cooking the Bread it got stuck to the pan in the middle can i use grease proof paper?

3) When putting it in the over shou i remove the lid?

4) can I bake it like i do a normal cake?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you can basically use any type of rice, the reason I specified on 'stubby' rice is to emphasize that you do not need to buy a very expensive brand or quality as the rice will get grinded anyway so there is no point paying too much for it. If you have a basmati rice brand, you can go for that. I would not suggest greaseproof paper as you will place the pan on the heat and that will cause the paper to burn. Better to grease the pan more thoroughly next time to avoid sticking. Yes when putting in the oven (under the grill) you need to remove the lid so the TOP part gets coloured, that is the main purpose of it being put in the oven. And no it is not like a normal cake bake, because in the oven you are just going to use the top grill for a few minutes just to give it colour.

Thank you will try it again and let you know the results. Jazaka Allah Khayr

Salam fauzia can u please tell if the mkate was on low heat or high?how low or how high? Time pls

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, full details are included in the recipe dear, please re-read. :)

Hi what is a jiko?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It's the swahili name for a charcoal stove.

Salam walykum fauzia. To i made mkate-wa-sinia, for 25yrs i was trying to make it but i was going wrong. but today with your reciepe mkate-wa-sinia came out so good my all family was happy. Many thanks fauzia kitchen

can we use rice flour instead of whole rice. thanks.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You can although have personally never tried it with rice flour so am not sure how the measurements will vary.

I want to try this out.

Salam auntie Fauzia.
Eid Mubarak.. Hope you enjoyed you eid. Auntie I just wanted to ask, is the frying pan in the demonstrating pics 6"? It seems to me bigger than 6"...and if I only have an 8" pan could I put the whole mixtute and cook???

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes the pan I used is 6 inches. You could use an 8 inch pan if all the batter will go into it. :)

Salaam fauzia your ol receipes are amazing I tried the wings, mishkakis and other lots and ol turned out too good. Was asking can we use coconut powder instead of coconut milk.?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thanks! I've actually never tried it with coconut powder but it should be fine. Just mix the powder to form the liquid coconut milk in your usual ratio or as per package directions and then measure and use in the recipe as required.

Salamalaikum fauzia. Many thanks for your delicious recipes. They are always a hit at my home, alhamdullilah.
A question about mkate siniya - can you freeze the batter before or after it's risen? Also what about freezing the cooked mkate siniya?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you! I personally have never tried freezing the batter, am not sure how well that would work out to be honest. But yes you can freeze the cooked mkate, just be sure to wrap it well.

Hi fauzia..thanx for the nice receipes.i have tried the mkate wa sinia but it dint hadden. It looks like a thick porridge...where would i have gone wrong?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi. Could be a heating issue or the yeast was not working well.

When putting the you first mix it in warm water or you put it direct in the blender?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

No, I use an instant yeast that does not require mixing in warm water.