It is the season for comfort food and definitely time to try your hand at some Cape Malay Cooking. A book filled with spicy food, recipes with cinnamon and nutmeg, bay leaves and cloves, chillies and apricots… this is the aroma of a lot of my childhood and I couldn’t dive into this cook book and try things, fast enough.


Modern Cape Malay Cooking

by Cariema Isaacs


  1. Back to Basics: Everything you need to know about the rich heritage of Cape Malay cooking… loved the introduction and the history, loved the conversational chat about boboties and curries and rich flavours and above all community.
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  3. Get Going: When the first recipe in any cook book is Coconut and dark chocolate chia puddings… and a whole lot of other fine ways to start your day.
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  5. Morning Light: All sorts of breakfasts including Cape Malay Bollas, that spins me straight back to my childhood and the smell of a special aunty’s home.
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  7. Sandwich Sensation: If you glean nothing else from this book… there is the Gatsby… a world renowned Cape Town icon!!!
  8. Sizzling Smoortjies: Smoortjies are quick little meals… and perfect for when you can’t face making a huge dinner.
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  10. Traditional Comfort Food: And hello, this is is the chapter we are ALL after… Briyana, Curry, Bobotie, Bredie, all the beautiful flavours of wintry Cape Malay feasts and here comes the “modern,” the recipes are adapted for an air fryer or with an instant pot twist.
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  12. Together as One: All the celebration food right here: Cape Malay Boerber, pepper steak hand pies… pecan pies, soetkoekies and eclairs.
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  14. The Cape Malay Global Kitchen: A global chapter, with everything from stir fry to nachos, and perfect additions for family gatherings.
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  16. Refreshing Liquid: A chapter of beautiful mocktails, including passion fruit mojitos.
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  18. Complimentary Companions: And finally everything you need to go alongside your dishes… sambals galore!!!


There you have it, Modern Cape Malay cooking, absolutely packed with childhood memories and tastes and flavours of the Cape. This is cook book is extremely giftable, for locals and especially for visitors to South Africa, who would like to take the taste of Cape Town with them, where they can use locally sourced ingredients, back home, to access all the flavours of Cape Town.

This book was given to us for review purposes, Penguin Random House South Africa. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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