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This recipe has been tested by staff at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in an American kitchen. The cooks who participated in the Kenya program of the Festival, who can be heard on the accompanying podcast were cooking in the outdoor kitchen at the event, and their recipes are designed for Kenyan climates and kitchens. Thus, cook with discretion. Good luck!

“Happiness is as good as food.” —Maasai proverb

Custard is one of the many desserts served to guests in Kenya. Though desserts are not a primary part of Kenyan meals, something sweet is often desired after a meal.


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder (most commonly found in international food markets)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • Ground cardamom to taste
  • Chopped almonds
  • Golden or brown raisins


  • Mix the milk and custard powder in a sauce pan. To increase the desired thickness of the custard, add more powder.
  • Add vanilla, sugar, and cardamom.
  • Boil until mixture becomes thick and heavy, about half an hour, stirring often to prevent burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Serve warm or cold in bowls. Garnish with chopped almonds and raisins.

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