Kaimati – Kenyan Fried Sweet Dumplings 3 Ways

Kaimatis are an indulgent Kenyan Coast specialty where by, gooey dough balls are coated with sensational syrup. In addition to tasting heavenly, they are also extremely easy to make.

In many Households, these delicacies are mostly prepared during the Holy Month of Ramadhan as a dessert or a delightful snack, but they can also be found on the humid streets of the Kenyan Coast as street food anytime of the year.

The first time I tasted Kaimati was when I was 6 years old. I had just came home from school and instead of finding my usual snack ready (coconut biscuits with a glass of milk) there was something new in our wooden bowl. Something have never seen before or rather tasted. The little golden brown dough balls looked extra ordinary harmless, but something in them was telling me; “I-dare-you-can’t-stop-me-at-ONE!

Well I picked one just to try…. what happened next is History!

Why don’t you make some and be the judge! Apart from the plain way of having them, I’ll also show you how to serve them in 3 different ways!!

Kaimati 3 ways

Below is the simple and easy recipe..

Enjoy 😉


1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup natural plain yoghurt

½ cup water

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Ingredients for the Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons ground cardamom

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Grated lemon rids (optional)


In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix very well till the batter becomes sticky

Cover and set aside for 1-2 hours to puff up (can also leave it aside overnight)

resting dough for kaimati

In the meantime, prepare the syrup by;

Adding sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add lemon juice (grated lemon rinds) and cardamom then simmer for about 5-8 minutes or till it’s sticky. The syrup should coat a spoon when ready

Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely

In a wok, heat 2 cups of vegetable oil and using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop dumplings in the hot oil and fry till golden brown

Drop in the ready dumplings in the syrup and coat them for one minute (the longer you leave them the more syrup they’ll absolve hence becoming very sweet)

Voila! Kaimatis are ready!

Another way of enjoying kaimatis is by coating them with powdered sugar

powdered sugar kaimatis

Or with melted chocolate
chocolate kaimatis
I served my 3-way kaimatis with a scoop of coconut ice cream and kahawa chungu!
kaimati 3 ways with coconut ice cream
kaimati 3 ways with coffee
Happy when eating kaimatis and sad when kaimatis are finished….. 

22 thoughts on “Kaimati – Kenyan Fried Sweet Dumplings 3 Ways

  1. ooooh my i loved the kaimatis b sure i will give it a try this weekend,can i hv more recipes,on baking,deep fries,roasting e.t.c

  2. hi, I want to make the kaimatis in the morning for breakfast and my mind tells me if I use the syrup they will be too soft in the morning, can I add sugar to the flour direct and knead together instead of using syrup

    1. admin

      Hello Beatrice,
      Of course you can do that! or coat them with the syrup in the morning. Happy Cooking

  3. Hey. I love your food blog. Really helpful. So am on this now waiting for the batter to puff up and already made the syrup. Problem is the syrup is already solidifying. Where could I have gone wrong?

    1. admin

      Hello Bettie, Sorry for not getting back to you immediately, did you simmer it on low heat as instructed?

  4. Hi. This looks so good! Reminds me of fairground fried dough! I’m going to make with my daughter for her to bring to school for her Kenya project. Can we make the night before? We were planning on just dusting them with powdered sugar.

    1. admin

      Hello Deedra

      You can make them the night before yes and leave them at room temperature. I would suggest
      dusting them in the morning just before you take them to the project.

      All the best and kind regards.

Comments are closed.