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