By Zahraa Schroeder
The 1st of September has been dubbed as World Koesister Day and what better way to celebrate the beginning of Heritage Month than with a warm, aromatic syrupy, coconut sprinkled koesister? Over 40 candidates showed-off their sweet and spicy baking skills at the Radisson RED Hotel in the V&A Waterfront.
Foodies along with hungry members of the public attended the delicious inaugural event along with judges; Suidooster actor Dean John Smith, Kfm presenter Saskia Falken, co-owner of Vannie Kaap Marc Jacobs and Radisson RED’s Kitchen Lead, Chef Naseer Abdullah – who would ultimately have to deal the winning blow. The contestants tried their hardest to prove that their recipe is the best, but only one could be crowned the winner. And walking away with R10 000 and the title of ‘Kwaiest Koesister 2019’, was Antie Asa Moos of Grassy Park.
VOC News spoke to the elated 69-year-old, who said that she didn’t do this for the money or the fame, but for the love of making koesisters. She spoke fondly about her good friend Kulsum, who was the source of her koesister inspiration.
“She used to make a koesister that I so much admired – but I could never do a koesister and I asked her ‘wys my hoe om a koesister te maak’ (show me how to make a koesister)…she gave me the recipe, which I just could not master”
Moos said she would spend hours with her, learning from her friend the art of koesister-making and in that time realised that she could not make her friend’s recipe but had to tweak it to suit her tastes. After more than 20 years of recipe testing, Moos finally had her very own secret recipe.
“I don’t need to put myself out there, Alhamdulillah. I did it for the love of it (baking) and I thank Allah everyday…I love baking.”
Her children and friends loved her koesisters, going so far as to encourage her to start selling in the area. She said that although she was not too keen on selling to others, she always made it a point to share her delicious Cape Malay treats, adding that when others are happy, she is happy.
“Until yesterday, I wasn’t sure if my koesisters was okay. I still had my reservation.”
Being nominated for Kwaiest Koesister was not convincing enough for Moos to believe that her recipe was the best. Although after winning the title, she said that it gave recognition to the many years of disappointment when she couldn’t get koesister-making right.
“It was 20 years of struggling to get the right ingredients, to get the balance of the taste with the other ingredients. And I did it, Alhamdullilah”
Moos had no idea she had been nominated on the Radisson RED Hotel’s Facebook page by her community.
“When I found out that I was nominated my knees went weak; what an honour.”
When asked if she could divulge a secret or two about her winning recipe, Moos said: “My secret lies in the nartjie. Oven dried and ground, I add just the right amount to my koesisters…but I can’t tell you how much though! That will always remain my secret,” she laughs.
“The best advice I can give anyone wanting to perfect their recipe is to find the balance between the sweet and the spicy.”
Moos said she does not have any plans yet for the R10 000, adding that she is still working through the many presents she got from loved ones. Along with the cash prize, Moos received a 3-month contract with the Radisson RED Hotel to supply them with fresh koesisters every weekend.
“To me, it wasn’t about the money…it was about just doing it for the fun of it. For the love of making a koesister.” VOC