8 classic Cape Malay recipes by Fatima Sydow

By Fatima Sydow, 24 July 2023

If you’re looking for traditional Cape Malay recipes, Fatima Sydow is the best person to learn from. She has built up a worldwide following with her Facebook and Youtube accounts, tv shows and cookbooks. Her recipes are easy to follow and full of nostalgia. Here are 8 of the most beloved Cape Malay recipes from the master herself.

1. Chicken akni

This is my late mother's marinated chicken akni recipe that I always make when I have visitors. It's packed with flavour and there's over enough for seconds or to take home in a barakat. It's a dish that can be made for a casual or formal dinner.

Chicken akni

Find the recipe for chicken akni here.

2. Milk tart

A classic and beloved dessert that's a firm favourite in our home. I love making milk tart when we have traditional gatherings and prayer evenings called a Gadat. I serve it in squares and it is also great for a Sunday afternoon treat.

Fatima Sydow milk tart

Find the recipe for milk tart here. 

ALSO READ: The Lazy Makoti shares 11 of her favourite traditional South African dishes

3. Bobotie

A traditional Cape Malay dish that has stood the test of time, a flavour explosion of tangy, spicy baked mince gently enveloped by an eggy custard that has soaked in that delicious curry sauce, making it one of the most recognised dishes in our country.


Find the recipe for bobotie here.

4. Denningvleis

Denningvleis is a traditional Cape Malay bredie that is made for special occasions and is also one of the oldest Cape Malay recipes. It's sweet and tangy and made with tamarind paste. This recipe has been adapted using vinegar and sugar instead.


Find the recipe for denningvleis here.

Want more South African recipes? Check out our recipe collection. 

5. Koesisters

These are a firm favourite on a Sunday morning, when the aroma of traditional Cape Malay koesisters wafts through the house. They take you on a nostalgic journey and evoke emotion with every bite. Sweet, spicy and delicious!


Find the recipe for koesisters here. 

6. Labarang mince pies

These are traditionally served on Eid morning for early brunch when the men come from the mosque and the first celebratory wishes begin. The table will be laden with all types of snacks, but it is the mince pie that will always be the showstopper on this beautiful and auspicious morning.

savoury mince pies

Find the recipe for labarang mince pies here.

Check out our pie recipe collection.

7. Potato pudding with stewed fruit

This is a traditional Cape Malay pudding. It’s ideal for any time of the year and can be eaten warm or cold. It's always served at big family gatherings and there is always that one aunty who makes it the best.

Potato pudding with stewed fruit

Find the recipe for potato pudding with stewed fruit here. 

8. Tripe-and-trotter curry

Offal has always been a firm favourite in our home. It’s my dad's special birthday meal as that's the request he puts in when I ask what he would like for his birthday. The best part is that not everyone eats it, which means there’s more for us! A delicacy for sure.

Tripe-and-trotter curry

Find the recipe for tripe-and-trotter curry here. 


Fatima Sydow

Article by Fatima Sydow

Fatima made her first 100-litre pot of curry at the age of 16 and has been sharing her popular recipes ever since. She built up a worldwide following with her Facebook page, Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow and is a cookbook author and TV cook.
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