Sharing food traditions

Michael Faro and Fatima Allie at their home.

For the residents of 7de Laan informal settlement, being part of the cookbook Real Food Real People was something special – as they were able to show people their favourite recipes.

Marco Spalke, from NGO Hope Southern Africa (HOSA), which has been running community projects in 7de Laan for almost three years and which published the book, said proceeds would go towards the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre that was built in February last year by the community.

“I was walking through the area one day and smelt the delicious foods from the homes of residents. I then asked them about their recipes, and it was interesting to hear where it came from and how they have perfected their cooking skills. And that’s when the idea sparked about a cookbook,” he said.

Community worker and resident of 7de Laan, Kathy Faro, said the residents were eager to be part of the project.

She said many of them enjoyed cooking in front of the camera and being photographed inside their kitchens.

Ms Faro said she was excited and added that the media team had been fun to work with.

“Personally, I enjoyed working with the team. The team bought our ingredients, all we needed to do was cook our meals,” she said.

Ms Faro’s dish in the book is snoek biryani, a meal that has been passed down in the family.

“The meal is easy to cook, but in my family there is a special way of making it.

“The ingredients are cheap and are generally found in many kitchens. The reader will really have fun reading and making the dishes,” she said.

Fatima Allie gave a peppermint tart recipe. “I am honoured to be part of the book. My grandmother often made it, and she taught me how to make the tart . I love the fact that it is for a good cause, so I did not hesitate to be part of it,” she said.

Paging through the book, she said: “My family is very proud of me; it is my first time in a book.”

Another resident, Michael Faro, said it felt “awesome” being part of a cookbook and he found it hard to believe that it was making its way through different countries, such as Germany, America, Australia and the Netherlands.

Mr Faro’s snoek grill recipe features in the book.

He said he loved working in the kitchen. “I love cooking! Fish grill is my speciality, and that’s why I decided to use it in the book. This is easy to make, and the way I make it, it will taste lekker,’’ he said.

Faieka Samodien, 22, shared her cheesecake recipe. “I learnt this dish when I was at Cedar High school, in Rocklands. I got an A in matric for consumer studies for this dish, so it became my favourite dish,” she said.

Ms Samodien said she often makes cheesecake on Sundays for her family.

“They enjoy it, and I hope those who read the book enjoy making it and eating it,” she said.