Naqiyah Mayat’s new cookbook merged Indian culture and family memories
Famous for being a melting pot of cultures and culinary styles, South Africa has a deeply entrenched appreciation for and love of Indian cuisine. Naqiyah Mayat’s new cookbook, The Beginning: Indian Recipes from my Home, offers food-lovers a nostalgic walk through the kitchens of South African Indian culture – combining the spices, memories and traditions of both Hindu and Muslim kitchens.
“For me, food has a magical way of unifying us. It’s the invisible thread that connects us all,” says Mayat. “From the start, I wanted to publish a book that harnessed the power of my food memories – from growing up in a Hindu household, to the new discoveries that I had made when I married into a Muslim family; and later the shared experiences from cooking for my children.”
Food personality, entrepreneur and mother of four, Mayat has combined the vivid memories of her Hindu upbringing and wove them together with her husband’s Muslim culture. The result is a rich and colourful tapestry of over 80 recipes that reflects this convergence of two diverse cultures.
Expect to find such dishes as mutton dhal gohst, red masala chicken, crab curry, parata, roti, samoosas and masala tea in its pages. “Although My husband and I come from a central point of being ‘Indian’ and there is an understanding and an overlap of food and culture, there are vast differences when it comes to spices and methods of cooking,” says Mayat.
Mayat is an avid strategist when it comes to food and meticulously plans her week’s meals and grocery shopping and her book also gives the reader advice on meal planning for your family, and special occasions, from menus and pre-planning to tablescapes and décor.
Mayat’s debut cookbook will be available from leading national book retailers from March. She will launch her book at The Mall of Africa’s Crystal Court on 12 March and this will extend into a series of activations from 13-15 March.