1. My first food memory is…the smell of warm aromatic spices when koesisters are being fried on a Sunday morning in Bo-Kaap. The koesisters are then dunked in glistening sugar syrup and sprinkled with beautiful snow white flakes of desiccated coconut.
2. My top tips for home cooks are…“Anything done in love, is done well” You must approach cooking with love, with complete comprehension of where the ingredients come from and recognise the ability you have to be able to transform something as unassuming as a potato, into a delicious and flavourful meal.
3. The one utensil / appliance in my kitchen that I couldn’t do without is…My food processor and Kitchenaid mixer! – till death do us part!
4. The most bizarre thing I’ve ever eaten is…Durian fruit, on a trip to Malaysia. The smell is overpowering and dare I say, slightly revolting! Wikipedia describes the smell to resemble that of rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage – I concur!
5. In my fridge & kitchen cupboards you’ll always find…In my fridge – fresh garlic, ginger, chilies and coriander, also Amiena’s wet spice mixes and marinades. I’m obsessed with stocking up my pantry with all sorts of baking goodies, dried herbs and spices.
Even in Dubai I go in search of proudly South African products (especially the ones I grew up with).
6. My favourite recipe from My Cape Malay Kitchen… I’d have to say my favourite recipe from the book would be the “Crayfish curry” recipe, which is often eaten on Eid day. Cape Malays are known to love Crayfish (in fact anything seafood) and a good, slightly spicy curry. This is a perfect combination of both. Crayfish curry was also one of my dad’s favourite dishes. He taught me how to cook this, including preparing the crayfish. I can’t eat this dish without thinking about him.
For more on Cariema Isaacs, visit her website at www.cariemaisaacs.com.
· Information: www.randomstruik.co.za
· Photograph: © Penguin Random House / Nigel Deary