Cape-style curry and other comfort food for the ultimate winter dinners

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If you find yourself craving home-made local food that comforts and is full of flavour, then Cape, Curry & Koeksisters is a must for your recipe radar.
Filled with hearty, home-style recipes curated by sisters Fatima and Gadija Sydow Noordien, Cape, Curry & Koeksisters is a culinary celebration of family and culture – and a must for your recipe collection.


30ml (2 Tsp) oil
2 onions, finely chopped
a few bay leaves
1kg mince
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
7.5ml (1½ tsp) turmeric
30ml (2 Tsp) roasted masala
15ml (1 Tsp) leaf masala
Salt to taste
60 – 75ml (4 – 5 Tsp) Mrs Ball’s chutney

Egg custard
200ml (¾ C) milk
2 – 3 eggs
A few bay leaves

1. Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat, then add the onions and bay leaves and cook until the onions are golden brown.
2. Next, add the mince and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes. Now add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 25 – 30 minutes on medium heat, stirring and adding a little water when needed.
3. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
4. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Spoon the mince mixture into a square pan or ovenproof dish and level the surface. Pour over the egg mixture and place the bay leaves on top.
5. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Serve with veggies and rice.

TIP: To stretch the dish, a few slices of white bread that have been soaked in milk, then the milk squeezed out, can be stirred into the mince mixture before baking.


SERVES 8 – 10

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, washed and drained
Salt and black pepper to taste
30ml (2 Tsp) oil
60 ml (¼ C) Worcestershire sauce
10 ml (2 tsp) chilli powder
60 ml (¼ C) lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
200 ml (¾ C) barbecue sauce of your choice

1. Place the chicken and the rest of the ingredients, except the barbecue sauce, in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for a few hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
3. Place the chicken pieces on the baking tray and roast for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken. Return the chicken to the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with roasted vegetables or a noodle salad.


5 medium-sized potatoes
30ml (2 Tsp) butter
5ml (1 tsp) salt
250ml (1 C) milk
1 egg
375ml (1½ C) cake flour
5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
30ml (2 Tsp) sugar
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
A little oil for shallow-frying
45ml (3 Tsp) sugar mixed with 2.5 ml (½ tsp)
Ground cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar

1. Peel the potatoes and cut each one into six pieces. Place them in a pot with water and boil until soft.
2. Mash the potatoes with the butter, salt and half of the milk. Next, add the egg, flour, baking powder and the rest of the milk and mix together. Lastly, add the sugar and vanilla essence and stir in. The consistency of your batter is crucial – not too runny and not too stiff. This can be easily rectified by adding a little bit of milk if too stiff or a little flour if too runny.
3. Now that the batter is done, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes or until you are ready to fry it.
4. To fry the fritters, warm the pan on just above medium heat with 30ml (2 Tsp) oil. Add a heaped tablespoonful of batter for each fritter and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until they are nice and golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is used up, adding more oil between batches as necessary.
5. Place the fritters on a plate already sprinkled with cinnamon sugar to coat the bottom of them. Finally, sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar on top of them. Remember that the fritters have a savoury flavour without the cinnamon sugar so you can be generous with the sugar.

TIP: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the fritters while they are still hot so that some can melt into the fritters.


For the biscuit base
200g butter, at room temperature 200ml (¾ C) castor sugar
1 egg
10ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
500ml (2 C) + 45ml (3 Tsp) cake flour

For the filling
1 litre (4 C) full-cream milk
3 cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
200ml (¾ C) sugar
10 eggs
10ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
10ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon

1. To make the base, cream the soft butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla essence and whisk for 1 minute. Next, add the dry ingredients and, using your hands, bring the dough together until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a well-floured surface. Transfer the dough to a greased baking pan, press the dough evenly onto the base and up the sides of the pan, ensuring there are no holes. Place in the fridge until ready to fill with the custard filling.
3. To make the filling, pour the milk into a large plastic jug and add the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks. Heat in the microwave for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the sugar to the warm milk and stir well, then discard the whole spices.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs for 3 minutes. Add a quarter of the warm milk to the eggs and whisk for 1 minute. Next, add the rest of the milk and vanilla essence and whisk well, then pour the custard back into the jug.
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
6. Take the biscuit base out of the fridge and place directly into the preheated oven. Pour the filling gently into the base while the pan is still in the oven. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the edges of the biscuit base turn a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and dust lightly with the ground cinnamon. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe extracts from Cape, Curry & Koeksisters (Human & Rousseau) by Fatima Sydow and Gadija Sydow Noordien, R330

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