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  • Foodways Friday: Swahili Rice Bread

    Freshly baked rice bread.
    Freshly baked rice bread.
    Photo by Fatma Ali Busaidy

    The ingredients for this recipe come from 2014 Festival participant Fatma Ali Busaidy, whose traditional Swahili cooking from the east coast of Kenya frequently uses coconut milk, cardamom, and rice. It is often served as a snack, or kitafunio in Swahili, with a cup of afternoon tea.


    3 1/4 cups ground rice or rice flour
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 1/2 cups coconut milk
    1 tbs yeast
    1 tsp ground cardamom


    In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cardamom, and yeast.

    Add coconut milk and mix well. Cover bowl with a cloth or paper towel.

    Allow to rise for 30 to 45 min.

    Gently transfer to a greased circular cake pan and bake for 35 minutes at 375°F. The rice bread is done when the top is evenly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

    Allow to cool, and enjoy with a cup of black or chai tea.

    Recipe directions have been adapted from Mkate wa Sinia (Tanzanian Rice Bread), courtesy of the online recipe archive Tanzanian Swahili Cuisine.

    Meg Boeni is a media intern for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage who studies journalism and Spanish at Boston University. She has realized that she’s going to have to invest in some cardamom.

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