The Mombasa spice “marikiti” off Digo Road is a fantastic little place. I love everything that is located along this narrow street. From the fresh, breezy streets with laid back shopkeepers in their spice shops, hawkers and shoppers to the large century old colonial market. I love everything that happens around the market. You can sense the history of the old place.
I always look forward going to this place, and I had to because my spice supplies were running on the low. Needed the usual; cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper, dried chilli, ginger, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, cloves etc.
Kungu manga was the least of the spices I was expecting to buy. I saw it by chance in a little spice shop I was visiting for the first time. Didn’t know what it was as it looked like any other nut to me. My inquisitiveness caught the shop attendant’s interest. I was lucky he was a cheerful happy man, he made my learning fun.
I learnt that kungu manga is also called the nutmeg in English. All along, what I always thought was kungu manga was actually something else 😀 the pomegranate, Please excuse my ignorance. But I am happy I now know.
In kenya, and I think the whole of the East African coast, the kungu manga is quite famous, mainly because of its aphrodisiac qualities 🙂 Is it a myth, I really don’t know. By gathering from my Swahili shopkeeper friend, the little oval nut is really all of what is thought of it and more. It is also a proven hallucinogen, that I now know. I was a little bit surprised as to how pricey the little nut is. They sell it at 25 shillings each!
How it’s used
Kungu manga is a favorite of men and women, mostly men wanting to enhance their sex stamina 🙂 Its main use is on food as a spice, especially on pilau. I got these tips from the man at the spice shop. A man expecting some action had to take the kungu manga some four hours before, and to maximize the effect, they add it on coffee.
The Kungu manga has a hard thin coffee brown cot, crack that open. Inside, you will find a nut like substance. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the nutmeg into a powder and use it alongside your other spices like you would do when cooking your pilau. One thing I noted is that it has a pungent spicy aroma when grinding. For greater action add the freshly ground powder to your coffee and enjoy 🙂
One thing though, I have not tried it yet on food or coffee. When I finally gather enough courage to try, I’ll tell.