Ray and I went to a South African restaurant tonight called the Durban Dish and it was lovely. The food was traditionally Indian South African, with Durban being the city with the largest Indian population in South Africa. Ray had Lamb Curry with putu pap; similar to the US grits, but served instead of rice. I had Bunny Chow; a lamb or chicken curry served in a hollowed-out half a loaf of white bread, with yellow rice. It was all very nice, if not a wee bit on the hot side. Then came dessert. Malva pudding…
Malva Pudding is a sweet pudding of Afrikaner origin, usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream. It is made with apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. It is often found on the dessert menu of South African restaurants.
The pudding’s name is derived from Malvasia wine from Madeira. The dessert and dessert wine used to be served together after main course at Cape tables. It is of distinct Cape Dutch origin with many unique additions which may differ from one area to the next eg. ginger, apricot jam. There are also many variants of this dessert namely the Cape Brandy Pudding which also include brandy and dates and the Tipsy Tart which contains only brandy.
In December 2006, Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef Art Smith traveled to South Africa to cook Christmas dinner for the pupils of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. The big hit of the night was his Malva Pudding. Smith stated that according to Colin Cowie, his hospitality ambassador in South Africa, it was named after a woman called Malva.