Mitai/Sweet Diamonds

Servings : Makes 50-60

These addictive little sweet diamonds are some of the most delicious snacks from the Coast of Kenya. They're probably known all across East Africa too. Fantastic to have with your evening cup of tea or coffee and they work beautifully as a sweet breakfast dish too! It is reminiscent of mandazis, just that these have the sugar coated on the outside of the mitais instead of having it inside the dough.

The recipe is a combination of several different recipes, with my own adjustments to make one final amazing recipe that is a guaranteed no-fail. This makes a big batch, so you can halve it for a first attempt if you like.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 egg (you can omit this if you helps add to the softness of the mitai but if you do not use egg then leave it out)
  • 3/4 cup heavy coconut milk
  • some light coconut milk (just enough to make a soft but not sticky dough, so about half cup to three-quarter cup, add slowly)

Ingredients for Sugar Coating

  • 2 cups sugar (slightly less than level)
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of cardamom powder
  • drop of vanilla


Heavy coconut milk is of the consistency that comes in the can/packet (if you're using ready-made coconut milk) or if you're using fresh coconuts, it's the milk that you drain out first before adding any water. Light coconut milk is diluted, so basically if you're using canned/tinned coconut milk, then dilute it half and half with water. Alternatively for this recipe you can omit the coconut milk and use regular milk instead, although it is preferable to use coconut milk for the more authentic flavor.

Sieve the flour, add in the yeast directly into it and the baking powder, salt, egg and cardamom. Start kneading with the coconut milk adding a little at a time until you have a good soft (but firm, not sticky) dough. Knead it for about 15 good minutes, pounding it as much as possible. To check that it's been kneaded enough, roll it into a ball and using a sharp knife, make a deep slit through it, it should look slightly bubbly on the inside.

Set it aside and let it rise to double. Divide it into 3 balls, then roll each ball out to a big circle of about quarter inch thickness. Cut into strips and then divide each strips into small diamonds. Place them on a floured surface whilst you continue doing the same to the rest of the dough.

Once all are cut up, fry them in hot oil until golden on both sides. Set aside.

For Sugar Coating

Boil these together in a big pan until the syrup becomes slightly thick (two thread consistency)

Add the fried mitais into this thick syrup and turn the heat down to low. Then, holding the pan on both sides, start tossing the mitai inside the pan so that the sugar syrup coats them properly and evenly. If it seems that they look wet, it's ok….just keep the pan back on the heat and toss again…repeat until the sugar becomes dry and powdery and has coated the mitai perfectly.

Serve hot and enjoy!!



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