My sister and her family have been in the
- Iliki 3-4 Kgs – Cardamons. Iliki is very good for tea and general cooking. It’s a distinguishing ingredient in Mahamri, Pilau and Biriani. But 4 Kgs of Iliki or any spice for that matter is too much!
- Mdalasini – Cinnamon. With it’s sweet spicy scent and flavour, it’s good for tea, pilau and many other dishes.
- Tangawizi – Ginger. It’s often combined with Iliki above to make a mean cup of spiced tea. It’s also perfect for stews and marinades. Fresh ginger goes especially well with fish.
- Ukwaju – Tamarind. Seeds of the Mkwaju tree. They’re brown and sticky when fresh. Tamarind is widely used to make sauce to go along with deep fried potatoes (Viazi karai) which are sold at every other corner in the estates and restaurants at the coast. It has a tangy sour taste. Also used to make tamarind juice.
- Mbaazi – Pigeon peas. Upcountry hardly a wedding or any such grand occasion goes by without mashed mbaazi. It’s also a breakfast delicacy especially at the coast where it’s made with thick coconut milk and served with mahamri and spiced tea.
- Hamira – Yeast. Used in place of baking powder to make dough for mahamri. Yeast is the major difference between mahamri and mandazi.
- Mafuta ya Karafuu – Clove Oil. One word – pungent. The only use I can think of for clove oil is for massaging sore joints. But the stuff stinks to high heaven and no matter how it’s packaged, the smell will still permeate to anything and anyone around.
- Chepe – Coconut oil. It is said to be very good for hair and skin care. Mothers especially use it on their babies because it’s natural and mild. While it is not as pungent as Karafuu, it has a not so nice smell.
- Majani ya export – Good old authentic tea leaves. No vanilla, hibiscus, strawberry, cranberry or any such enrichments.
- Solar Dried Mkunde and Mchicha - Mkunde is cowpeas leaves and mchicha is amaranth. They’re dried and sold in a farm outside Kikambala so I got a small trip out of town.
- Swahili Sandals size 43 - several pairs - Beautiful handmade sandals embellished with multi-coloured beads. With a size as large and as uncommon as 43, they’re not kept in stock. I had to place an order and wait for 1 day for them to be made.
- Royko – I Kg.
- Soya Chunks (Nakumatt) – But the US is the mother of Soya!
- Njahi – Black beans. There must be some around there?
- Kunde – Cowpeas.
- Unga wa Uji – A lot. She’s a new mother.
- Dry peas.
- Salimia Ointment – Sounds familiar. What was it used for again? There must be an equivalent there surely?
- Hatha – stinging nettle.
- Bonisan Gripe Water – I see someone has not yet known her way around town.
- Sunlight soap – Come on now! Ok. She has only ever cleaned her babies with sunlight and the new one is no exception it seems.
Farmers Choice Sausages, mabuyu (baobab fruit), achari (spice sundried mangoes), sim sim seeds, kashata , vibibi, vitumbua, ufuta, woishe my dear sis!
I was not about to disappoint a homesick lady and new mum. The travel agency disputed just about all the items but rules are made to be broken no? Save for the perishables, medicines and oils, just about everything else has safely been delivered to her in US.
What are you people out there missing or missed while you were away?
Also see: Our Reading Spaces. A worthy course I read about at Mama Shujaa’s.