Tambi za Papayu

Servings : Serves 4

This is yet another specialty of the coast of Kenya, my home-town. Thin strands are cut out from raw papaya/pawpaw fruit and then cooked with sweetened coconut milk and flavoured with cardamom powder. Fantastic and refreshing especially for the iftar table in Ramadhan.


  • 300 gm fresh tambi (thin strands of raw papaya/pawpaw)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cadamom powder
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy coconut milk
  • water, as needed


Rinse the tambi, then put them in a pan. Add just enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. Allow them to boil for about 10 minutes. Drain away the water. This helps remove any bitterness from the raw papaya and begins to soften the strands.

Next, put the boiled tambi in a pan and add the light coconut milk, sugar and cardamom powder. Simmer on low heat until the sugar is dissolved, coconut milk is reduced and the tambi are tender. Turn off the heat.

In a separate small pan, add the heavy coconut milk. Place on low heat and cook this heavy coconut milk while stirring continously until thickened. Once done, pour it over the cooked tambi to add a creamy richness to it.

You can serve this sweet dish warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!  🙂

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