O, koek! Too many people want koesisters (not to be confused with koeksisters)
‘Maybe we bit off more than we could chew’
The humble koesister reduced renowned foodie Cass Abrahams to tears on national television.
Now the Cape Malay treat — not to be confused with the cold plaited koeksister — is gaining renewed popularity thanks to Mr Koesister and his sisters from Wynberg.
For more than a century koesisters have traditionally been Sunday breakfast in many Cape Town homes. In November, Abdurageem Randall and his family could not agree on who would wake up early one Sunday to get the delicacy — and their spat gave rise to a koesister delivery service.
Already they are delivering hundreds every Sunday, travelling as far as Kraaifontein in the northern suburbs and discovering that people are willing to pay more for the delivery than the koesisters themselves.Randall and his sisters-in-law, Faieka Salie and Juwayda Daniels, are “overwhelmed” by their popularity, which they put down to nostalgia and the desire to keep the Sunday morning Cape tradition going.
“We did not sleep on Saturday because of all the orders. The whole family pitched in because we want to make sure our customers are getting fresh koesisters,” said Randall who works for a software company.
“We didn’t expect this and maybe we bit off more than we can chew. We will have to restructure to ensure that clients are not left disappointed because we don’t have the capacity to deliver to everyone. With this, the northern suburbs will be put on hold for just a bit.”Abrahams, author and doyenne of traditional Cape Malay cuisine, was one of the judges on the My Kitchen Rules SA. During the finale in December, contestants Charnell and Kerry made koesisters with sweetened cream, naartjie coulis and an almond crumb.
The cooking legend shed a tear when she tasted it and South Africa’s first Michelin-star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, said he wanted to introduce it at his restaurant in Europe.
Abrahams told Times Select that Muslims often had a big lunch on a Sunday, which was why they opted for a koesister and a cup of coffee in the morning.
“Children would go knocking on doors on a Sunday morning with koesisters in a basket,” she recalled, saying the tradition had been around for “more than 100 years”.
Randall hopes to grow the business by employing staff. And samoosa delivery is also on the cards. “We want to create jobs and give back to the community,” he said. “We have a high unemployment rate and even if we help two to five people, that is two to five less people looking for a job.”