Join me this Ramadhan and learn more about the customs and traditions of the Cape Muslims, descendants of political prisoners, slaves and migrants from the Dutch and British colonies of South East Asia. Read more about their origins here.
Our cuisine, customs and genetics had their roots in both that of the colonized and the colonizer, as well as the plethora of migrants that landed on our shores since the middle of the 17th century.
Every group brought with them the food and culture of their homeland and over time they adapted it to suit the available produce, the climate and the economic realities of life as an enslaved people. Modern day Cape Malay cooking bears very little resemblance to it’s historical forerunner and it appears that the only thing that we have retained are names of fruits, vegetables or the occasional dish that sounds vaguely familiar.
If you are observing the fast for Ramadhan, what are the traditions or customs of your family or community at large? Do you have any favorite Ramadhan recipes that you would like to share with us?
I hope that you will enjoy the Mieliepap with fresh berries for suhoor as much as I do. For a quick and nutritious vegetarian meal try this Red lentil soup. Or Boeber if you prefer something sweet. A cool and refreshing Falooda milkshake will revive the spirits. Or the Cardamom bollas with saffron syrup at iftar. For a sweet and savory delight try the Sweet corn and polenta fritters or Pancakes any way you like. I have finally mastered the art of making a Daltjie spinach and corn fritter that is a staple on an Iftar table in a Cape Malay home.