Throughout South Africa we’ve been hearing about Cape Malay food, but never really understood what it was. We knew where the cape is, but what is or where is Malay? What is this cuisine you speak of?
We went to the Capetown waterfront and asked the security guard the best place for Cape Malay food. Pointing us in the right direction, we headed off to taste things which we couldn’t pronounce but wanted to try. So I ordered a chicken curry rootie, unsure what rootie was, but figuring that anything with chicken was safe. Danny opted for the babottie, a surprise for sure. What came was delicious, and licking my plate clean so to speak, I was hungry for some more.
A blend of savory and spicy curries and meats cooked with dried fruit, Cape Malay cuisine represents Capetown- a blend of ethnic cuisines. From curries to chilis to ginger, tumeric and cinnamon, Cape Malay cuisine is highly spiced and undoubtedly delicious. Cape Malay cuisine is descended from the Malaysian state prisoners that were sent to South Africa in the late 17th Century. They brought with them their aromatic spices, culture and religion. Blending with the Dutch, English and Portuguese influence in Capetown, a distinct Cape Malay cooking style was created.