Book Review: Cape, Curry & Koesisters

Fatima Sydow & Gadija Sydow Noordien

Human & Rousseau

Review: Brian Joss

What twins Fatima and Gadija don’t know about cooking could probably fit on the head of a pin. And if you have a taste for curry the two sisters have recipes for dishes that will set your taste buds tingling and your guests asking for seconds, and perhaps even thirds.

But it’s not only the curry dishes that will tempt you, there are some typically South African dishes including Snoek Head Soup; Dahltjies, those spicy chilli bites that grace many Boeka tables during Ramadaan or served at weddings; Pickled Fish, traditional at Easter but delicious at any time of the year; Bobotie; Tomato Trotters; Pilchard Akhni that takes that staple to another level; a Mavrou, neither a curry nor a bredie, it is one of the most “sacred recipes” in Cape Malay culture and is also traditionally served at weddings. And not forgetting the desserts for those with a sweet tooth. Choose from a Potato Pudding With Stewed Dried Fruit; Milk Tart; Malva Pudding or Butter Biscuits; Soetkoekies; Saboeratjies; and of course, Koesisters. The recipe will make 50. They’re an ideal Sunday morning treat, and the aroma of cinnamon and aniseed emanating from your kitchen will have the neighbours flocking to your door. They will take a few hours, including proving time to make, but the result will be worth it. The recipes are uncomplicated and most of the ingredients are available at your supermarket.

The chapters are  Spices, Herbs and Seasoning, with masala mixes you can make at home; Soups, Light Meals & Snacks; Rice, Sambals & Atchar; Curry Breyani & Ahkni; Meat & Chicken; Puddings and Cakes, Biscuits, Cupcakes & Loaves. The home cook will find a dish to satisfy every palate. The images are by Michelle Parkin.

The twins grew up in Manenberg and learnt some of their skills from their mother who was a cook of renown.  The Sydow sisters host their own cooking show, Kaap, Kerrie en Koesisters on Via, on the satellite TV platform.

Cape, Curry & Koesisters is a welcome addition to the pantheon of South African cookbooks.

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