Malindi Halwa (Kenyan Almond Halwa) Recipe

Malindi Halwa


  • Prep: 75 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Total: 120 mins
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Cooking Method: Frying
  • Recipe Cuisine: African


  • 125grams tapioca starch (a starch extracted from the storage roots of the cassava plant)
  • 900gramscold water
  • 350gramswhite sugar
  • 125gramsghee
  • 1/2teaspoonsaffron
  • 2tablespoonsrosewater
  • 8cardamom pods
  • 50gramsblanched almonds
  • orange and red food coloringas needed

Malindi Halwa or Kenyan Almond Halwa is an irresistible African dessert. With its sweet taste and delightful aroma of rose, saffron, and cardamom, this jelly-like almond halwa can be a perfect dessert to side with your afternoon tea or morning coffee.
All you need for this delicious Malindi Halwa is a bunch of ingredients and lots of stirring.
Malindi is one of Kenya’s coastal towns and is at the center of tropical beaches. The food of this area is influenced by multiple cultures and traditions such as Arabic, Indian, British, and Portuguese.
The comforting floral smell of the majestic sweet can brighten your day. Try it once to enjoy its delicacy and uniqueness.


Step 1

This Malindi Halwa recipe is fun and easy. First, place the tapioca starch in a large bowl. Gradually add about 500 grams of cold water to it and whisk until you have a smooth, flowing mixture without any clumps. Set it aside for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, melt the ghee in a large pan. Add in the saffron, rosewater, ground cardamom seeds, and food colorings. Stir the Kenyan Almond Halwa mix and set it aside.

Step 3

Choose a large, heavy-based non-stick pan. Put the sugar in it and add about 400 grams of water to it. Set it over medium heat and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Now, whisk the tapioca starch mixture once again. When the sugar mixture comes to a boil, pour in the tapioca starch mixture slowly. Cook the Malindi Halwa mixture over medium-low heat.

Step 4

You need to stir the delicious Kenyan Almond Halwa frequently. This mixture will begin to thicken and turn translucent in some parts. Keep stirring and cooking your Malindi Halwa for about 10 minutes.

Step 5

After that, you will have a glossy paste. Once your halwa reaches this stage, add a ladleful of warm ghee mixture, and stir thoroughly. Continue stirring and adding the ghee mixture in small batches every 3 to 4 minutes until all the ghee mixture is used up.
After a few minutes, the Malindi Halwa will begin to bubble and thicken. It will turn to a jelly-like texture.

Step 6

The cooking process of this halwa will take about 30 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking process, your halwa will have an elastic and goo-like texture.
It needs to look shiny and translucent. You will have a deep orange color halwa. You can add more food coloring if desired.
Once the Malindi Halwa pulls away from the sides of the pan in a mass, it is ready.

Step 7

Next, add the blanched almonds to the Kenyan Almond Halwa, and stir to embed them into the mix. Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, and then transfer it to a large piece of cling film.
Shape the elastic jelly-like halwa into a thick log. You can use gloves if it is still hot to touch. Wrap the halwa tightly, scrunching the ends to form a twist to tighten.
Then, wrap it in brown paper or newspaper. Allow it to cool at room temperature completely.

Step 8

When your excellent halwa is ready, turn it onto a greased tray and cut it into pieces. Serve this heart-melting halwa warm or at room temperature sided with a hot cup of tea.

Cooking Notes

Malindi Halwa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.


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