3 May 2012 by Ems Tsotetsi

Cape Malay cooking safari

Cooking with love at Cape Malay cooking safari

One of the activities I enjoyed doing while I was in Cape Town, was exploring the Bo-Kaap area. The walking tour I went on was quite informative and was a great way to learn about the history of the area.
I think many of us get so caught up with our own heritage and culture that we forget that South Africa is such a diverse country with incredibly diverse people living in it. We learnt about the Cape Malay people, their history, struggles and culture. The Cape Malay food is unique to Cape Town and consists of a fusion of Asian, African and European traditional ingredients. The Bo-Kaap district is where the Cape Malay people historically lived and it’s where you will find the most authentic Malay food.


Our Cape Malay expedition commenced at the Bo-Kaap Museum where we viewed a photo exhibition and were told a brief history of the Malay people and the area. We made our way to one of the multicoloured houses in the Bo-Kaap for our Cape Malay cooking safari. It was particularly interesting for me because I love cooking and trying new and exciting recipes to impress my friends and family. Our cooking instructor, Feldelah, gave us a warm welcome accompanied by faloodah (a traditional rose scented milk beverage). Thereafter we moved to the kitchen, where she had laid an array of spices on the table and described the purpose of each one to us. Girls cook with love, too much love is bad she repeated often. The ‘love’ was of course salt.


We made delicious samoosas and even learnt how to fold them like pros. It was really funny to see the variations of shapes and sizes. I suppose the taste was all that mattered in the end. Next on the menu was making a roti from scratch, while our other team member was preparing the chicken curry to fill it. Sometimes people break-up, and when they do, they must get back together says Feldelah. We came to understand that she was referring to our rotis as we were slamming them gently on the table. The aromas of the stew infused the room which stirred our hunger even more.

The aromas of the stew infused the room which stirred our hunger even more

I was trying very hard to memorise all the ingredients and feared forgetting an integral component, but thankfully, after our dinner, Feldelah gave us packs with all the recipes of the food we had cooked. I was anxious to get back to Jo’burg and try these recipes. 

What I found really special about the Cape Malay cooking safari was the personal and rich experience you gain from it. Visitors are not on the outside looking in, but rather, are made part of the culture even if it’s just for a few hours.

For booking and tours visit: www.andulela.com
Tel: +27 21 790 2592

Category: Culture & History, Food & Wine


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