Cook sister!!

Growing up, I always heard stories from my parents reminiscing on the food they used to eat as children, teenagers and young adults in their homeland of South Africa. At times they would be craving the tastes and aromas — sometimes these could be fulfilled by my mother or another relative making them, other times it would be in a form of a gift brought back from a relative’s recent return, other times they just had to dream about it.

One dish in particular that my mother would make on special occasions, my siblings and I would get so excited about it that our mouths would water while the preparation took place. One thing about really nice (lekker as we say in Afrikaans) South African food is that it always takes hours to make!

Living just over 1400 km from my mom, I can’t ask her to make me food. Last week the cravings was so bad I decided that I need to go through my Capetonian rite of passage and make them. Even if I am about 12 years behind! I’m not one for a food blog, but I do enjoy reading them, and I do rely on them when making dishes I’m not familiar with. I don’t see myself as a cook, yes I can make basic nice tasting food, and I can follow recipes, while I love to eat, I don’t have that passion like others when cooking (e.g. My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef), so making this is a big deal for me.

Koe’sisters or koeksisters are South African doughnuts. Koek “cookie”, while “sisters” is the same as English. It gets it’s name from one of the styles of the doughnuts where the dough is plaited resembling a girl’s hair. Being from Cape Town, we make the Cape Malay version which looks more like a dumpling.


Traditionally they are eaten for breakfast on a Sunday morning, which I was able to do today. It took me nearly four hours to make them last night, as you have to let the dough rise twice, and then you deep fry them. I finished the process this morning by boiling (and heating them) in sugar syrup and rolling them in coconut.

I got my fix! They are very sweet which means the three I had this morning will keep me happy for a while. I tend to freeze the rest and pull them out when I feel like them. My brother saw my picture this morning, so he now wants me to bring the frozen ones to Adelaide for Easter.