Sweet Dumplings/Kaimati

Servings : Makes approx 30

One of the most famous delicacies of the coast of Kenya (and most parts of East Africa) are these crunchy dumplings in a sweet sugar syrup known as kaimati or kalimati. They make for a delightful snack, enjoyable at any time; as a starter sweet before a meal, for a light dessert with coffee, for breakfast if you have a sweet tooth, with tea in the evening, midnight sweet craving etc etc etc.

I especially love to have these at iftar time in Ramadhan. Even if you’ve never heard of them before, but have a sweet tooth or enjoy the occasional sweet snack, you MUST try this easy recipe! Some people like the sugar syrup to form a solid coating over each dumpling, as in my recipes for mitai (sweet diamonds). I on the other hand prefer these to be lightly coated with a slightly sticky syrup as shown in the photo.


  • 1 cup all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1/2 cup yogurt plus a little water
  • 1 tbsp. ghee or butter
  • 1 level tsp. instant yeast

Ingredients for Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom
  • lemon rinds or saffron threads (whichever flavour you prefer)


Boil syrup and cool completely

Mix the flour with all the above ingredients and beat thoroughly with your hand. It should be thick enough for you to be able to pick without it flowing down between your fingers, but not so thick that it’s a dough. Not runny and yet not too thick.

Cover and let it rise for about half an hour. Touch some oil with your fingertips and mix the mixture again.

Heat oil, then pick small portions and drop in the hot oil, then immediately lower the heat and fry on very low heat, stirring the Kaimatis continuously so that they color on all sides and get super crunchy.

From heat place directly into the cooled sugar syrup.

Serve and enjoy!

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