Southafricanisms: Cape Malay food, Koeksisters-the SA donut.


The Cape Malays are responsible for most of what I consider Cape Town food. The Afrikaners gave us the Braai (BBQ) and the Potjie (stewing pot), The Xhosa, Mielie pap (ground corn) and samanzi (steam bread), but for truly Capetonian foods we have the Cape Malays to thank.

Koeksisters: This very South African dessert is a pastry that is deep fried and then dipped in cold sugary syrup laced with spices such as ginger, cardamom or cinnamon. The dough is twisted to form a little plait and after the hot oil, the cold syrup dip turns the outside crunchy and the inside, soft and gooey. They are needless to say very rich and one can almost feel ones arteries groaning, but who can resist such sweetmeats.

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Koeksisters (cake sisters?) are what I believe to be a distant relative of the Indian Gulab Jamin, which seemingly found its way to our shores via Java and Bali. They are sold most everywhere in supermarkets, corner shops and deli’s. Grab a napkin while your there.

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