The heritage, recipes and true stories of the Bo-Kaap

The heritage, recipes and true stories of the Bo-Kaap
Jenny Morris

Fooding Around with Jenny Morris

Another beautiful Quivertree publication, this newest book ‘Bo-Kaap Kitchen’, captures the Bo-Kaap at a moment in time when the community stands firmly resolute in preserving its heritage against the inevitable expansion of the thriving city of Cape Town.
Through personal stories, recipes, historical images and beautiful visuals, Bo-Kaap Kitchen reveals the heart of the Cape Malay people. It reveals their history and identity, distinctive architecture and their language. The warmth and character of the people shine through as they share their stories about cooking, family bonds and strong faith.

Residents of the Bo-Kaap are descendants of some of the first people to settle at the Cape, mostly descendants of slaves brought here from as diverse places as Ceylon, India Indonesia, Java, Malaysia, North Africa, East Africa and Madagascar. Many of these slaves were sought after for their skilled labour and excellent craftsmanship.

A large part of the book is devoted to the significance of food, which is so central to the culture. Rites of passage, pilgrimages, prayers for new-borns and the deceased, breaking the fast during Ramadan, engagements, weddings – all are celebrated with meals that are shared in this closely knit community. ‘Bo-Kaap Kitchen’ is an important testament of their history.
Featuring classics like Hertzogies, Malva pudding, dhaltjies, aardappel porring, tripe curry, kumquat atchar and so much more, this is a beautiful read full of yummy traditional recipes and lots more.
People like Rara Samon, Ghava Bester and Jasmin Marcus, to name but a few, also pop up in the book to tell their stories – I just love it!

Let’s cook!
Ope Bekkies
Meaning “open mouths”, these deep-fried doughnuts, which are also known as bollas, can be stuffed with anything you fancy.


500g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 eggs
2 cups milk
¼ cup cooking oil

1 onion chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
3 large chicken fillets cut into cubes
2 tsp roasted pakco masala
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 tsp fresh coriander finely chopped

To make the dough, mix the flour salt and sugar together.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk and oil together. Stir the dry mixture into the liquid mixture and combine until you have a batter( it should not be too runny).
Deep–fry large spoonful’s of the batter until golden brown.
Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
To make the filling, braise the onion in a little water on a high heat until light golden, then add the garlic and chicken and cook until browned, making sure not to over crowd the pan. Add the masala, salt and sugar with as little water as possible so that it doesn’t burn, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the coriander and simmer for 2 minutes. Cut slits (open mouths) into the fried doughnuts and spoon the chicken filling inside.

©In Published edition Quivertree Publications 2013 Photographs © Quivertree Publications 2013