Cooking with Cass Abrahams – the foremost authority on the Cape Malay Cuisine

Cooking with Cass Abrahams – the foremost authority on the Cape Malay Cuisine

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Cass Abrahams doing a cooking demo – our cooking classes with her are all hands on – for larger groups we do cooking demos!

The Cape Malay cuisine is the oldest cuisine of the Cape people. It emerged from the Cape Malay slaves who worked in the kitchens of their Dutch masters. They could not resist adding some spice to the bland Dutch cuisine!

CASS'S SPICE BOX
Typical Spices that the slaves had at their disposal in the kitchens of the Dutch in the Cape.   Traditionally whole spices are used in the cooking.

The tour today starts with a cup of coffee at a Micro Coffee Roaster.    We use this opportunity to tell you the story of our Cape Malay people and to start the story about Cass Abrahams and her journey into rescuing and resuscitating the Cape Malay cuisine in the Cape.

The origins of the cuisine come from the time of the Dutch East India Company just after they created a settlement in the Cape to provide the passing ships with fresh produce.   In 1659 they imported slaves from a variety of regions – the largest number however came from Indonesia, followed by India.   These slaves became the kitchen slaves.   As the Cape was on the trading route to the East – the slaves had access to the spices and combined the Dutch cuisine with the influences from the areas that they came from.   The cuisine that emerged from these kitchens is known as the Cape Malay Cuisine.

Today we join local “foodie” celebrity Cass Abrahams – the renowned authority on Cape Malay cuisine for a visit to her home, an introductory talk on the history of the cuisine and the spices, followed by a hands on cooking class where you learn to make traditional Cape Malay dishes under her supervision.   You would typically make about four different recipes and then sit down to lunch and enjoy the dishes you have made.

A typical menu of dishes cooked with Cass would be (note this is subject to change and shown to give you an idea of the types of dishes that will be cooked!):

Babotie – pictured above.   This is known as South Africa’s traditional dish – but its origin has a quirky story that she will tell you!

Cape malay chicken curry - making it

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Making the Cape Malay Chicken Curry with Yoghurt
cape malay fish dish (Large)
A fish dish with a Cape Malay Spice Rub
Malva Pudding with custard
Malva Pudding – served with custard
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The lunch feast – ready for us to sit down and enjoy! Jowa – Cass’s husband in the background.
Cass Cooking Class 2017
Cass with her students and the lunch feast that they cooked themselves! 

After lunch we would head back to your hotel.   Alternatively we can drop anywhere centrally in Cape Town.   Or you could supersize your tour and spend the rest of the day with us in order to maximize your time in Cape Town!

The Info:

Timing of tour:  08h30 to about 14h30

Includes:   Pick up and drop off at your hotel,  the tour, the hands on cooking, the lunch and soft drinks at Cass.    Note that no alcohol can be served as Cass’s home is a Muslim home

Cost:    Depends on the number of people and where you are staying – please email us.   Note that if you would prefer to self drive – simply advise us and we will quote accordingly.   Cass’s home is in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town – approximately half an hour from the city centre are.

Please advise:  Any Dietary Requirements – this is critical information for any cooking class.

Note:   This cooking class is suitable for everyone – but a real special treat to any chefs and home chef enthusiasts due to the level of her knowledge.   Most South African Chefs who have an understanding of the local Cape Malay Cuisine – have learned it from her.

Note 2:   This is a private tour.  We only run private tours.   The maximum number that can cook with Cass would be 6 people in her home.

Read Merle’s blog about her  cooking experience with Cass Abrahams

Supersize your Tour:  

Note this can be booked as a full day tour as well.   In the afternoon we can either do some wine tasting in the Constantia Valley (the region is 10 minutes drive from Cass!) or do a taste of Cape Town city and explore the Bo-Kaap and the oldest part of Cape Town on foot.

End time:   Between 5 and 5.30pm