Cape Town cooks share their Ramadan recipes

Ramadan is one of the most important annual observances of the year for Muslims. During this month, observing Muslims abstain from food and drink between dawn and sunset.

In Cape Town, Ramadan traditions include sharing treats with your neighbours to enjoy at iftar (the evening meal at sunset when Muslims end their fasting day).

READ: A guide to spending Ramadan in Cape Town

These cooks have shared their Ramadan recipes for you to try at home.

Fatima Sydow

Her Facebook page’s popularity led Fatima Sydow to self-published her first book, The Journey of Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow.

With that came many opportunities, including a cooking show called, Kaap, kerrie and koesisters, followed by another book.

Fatima shares her recipe for Romany Dream biscuits, an alternative to Romany Creams that will impress your guests.


Romany Dreams

Ingredients for dough

500 grams of butter (room temperature)

1 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

125 grams of cocoa powder

2 cups medium desiccated coconut (when using fine desiccated coconut and not medium, add 3 cups to the mixture)

Filling ingredients

200 grams of plain chocolate, melted

250 ml fresh cream

250 grams dark 70% chocolate

Fresh raspberries


In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat the butter, oil, icing sugar and caster sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the egg and vanilla essence and mix for a minute. Now add all the dry ingredients and mix by hand to form a soft dough. Cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface and ensure that your rolling pin is floured as well or simply place some cling film or wax paper over dough and roll out. Cut out shapes with a flower or round cookie cutter and place in greased shell pans. Bake for 15 minutes. After baking allow to cool completely.

For the filling

Spoon some melting chocolate in the center of each biscuit and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Allow to set.

Next, place the fresh cream and dark chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bowl and stir until all chocolate has melted. Place in fridge to cool completely and thicken. Next, whisk the chocolate ganache until light and airy, pipe or spoon on top of each biscuit and top with fresh raspberries. And you’re done .

Buy Fatima’s recipe books here:

Cariema Isaacs

Cariema Isaacs was born in Scotcheskloof in Bo-Kaap. She has a natural flair in the kitchen, and from an early age was familiar with ingredients that her grandmother would transform into the most scrumptious dishes. Cariema shares her recipe for Pumpkin Fritters which can be found in her first cookbook Cooking for My Father in My Cape Malay Kitchen.

Pumpkin Fritters

1 egg

1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar

¾ C (180 ml) milk

2 Tbsp (30 ml) melted butter

400 g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, diced, boiled, drained and mashed

2 C (500 ml) self-raising flour

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) salt

2 C (500 ml) oil, for shallow-frying the fritters

Cinnamon sugar


Mix the egg and sugar together in a mixing bowl until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the milk, melted butter and the mashed pumpkin and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Sift the flour and salt into a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix this until it forms a smooth but fairly stiff batter.

Warm the oil over a medium heat and shallow-fry the fritters until they develop a crispy crust and are golden brown on both sides.

Remove from the pan and place on paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar. Serve hot.

Banana Fritter variation: 4 ripe bananas, 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla, caramel or banana essence. Mash 2 bananas, add the essence and mix this with the flour batter. Roughly chop the remaining two bananas and add that to the batter.

Click on the links to buy Cariema’s books: eBook or hard copy.

Ferial Sonday

Ferial Sonday shares recipes to her more than 66 000 followers on Facebook regularly. All her recipes are tried, tested, and enjoyed by everyone who tries them. She shares her sweetcorn fritter recipe, a popular iftar treat.


Savoury Sweetcorn Fritters

1 tin cream style sweet corn
2 eggs
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chopped green chilies
chopped coriander
3 chopped spring onions
375 ml cup self raising flour

Mix all above ingredients together.
Drop tablespoons of mixture in shallow oil in frying pan.
Fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with chutney.

Follow Ferial on Facebook.

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