5 Cape Malay-inspired recipes to celebrate Ramadan

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5 Cape Malay-inspired recipes to celebrate Ramadan

Observed by Muslims the world over, Ramadan, which starts on Tuesday 7 June this year, is the holiest month on the Islamic calendar. We share five Cape Malay recipes for culinary inspiration – perfect for Iftar.


This sweet milky drink is of Cape Malay origin, and is best enjoyed warm. While it’s often enjoyed throughout Ramadan, this decadent drink is especially made on the 15th night of the holy month of Ramadan. It is traditionally infused with cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla and imbued with pieces of vermicelli and sago – and sometimes sultanas and flaked almonds for added flavour.

View the recipe here


5 Cape Malay-inspired recipes to celebrate Ramadan
Traditional Cape Malay koesisters.

Not to be confused for plaited koeksisters (notice the letter ‘k’ is dropped), koesisters are traditionally Cape Malay. In comparison with koeksisters, they are far more fragrant and spiced with beautiful flavours that include cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, aniseed and dried naartjie peel. They’re also doused in a sticky syrup and coated with desiccated coconut. These oval-shaped balls of deliciousness are a favourite around the Iftar table, particularly in Cape Town.

View the recipe here


These tasty triangles are said to be of Indian origin but have their variations and have become popular in Cape Malay cuisine. Fried until golden and crisp, fillings can include beef, chicken, cheese or veg. Like the recipe below, or TASTE reader Imtiyaz Adams’ cheesy take on them.

View the recipe here


Regarded by some as the queen of Cape Malay cooking, Cass Abrahams’ fragrant lamb curry is not only a great main to enjoy at Iftar, but is the perfect winter companion. Enjoy with basmati or jasmine rice or flaky, buttery rotis.

View the recipe here


Lamb not your thing? Pescatarian? Try Cape Town food blogger Dennis Molewa’s Cape Malay-inspired seafood curry. Fragrant and fishy, it’s sure to hit all the right spots.

View the recipe here


What are some of your favourite Ramadan or Cape Malay treats? Tell us in the comments section below.

Ashraf Booley Article by: Ashraf Booley

Woolworths TASTE’s digital content producer loves nothing more than trying out inventive recipes and using close friends and family as his guinea pigs. When he’s not crafting content or posting images to TASTE’s Instagram account, he sits in a quiet corner sipping on pretentious tea and penning poetry.

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