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Appa Lockhat’s Sweetmeats & Catering, Gatesville, Cape Town: Shop Review

It’s surprisingly hard to find a good, cheap curry in Cape Town – or, for that matter, good, cheap sweetmeats. SA Blog is on the case! Click on our cheap curries tag for more hot eats.

Appa Lockhat’s Sweetmeats & Catering
22 Yusuf Gool Blvd.
Gatesville, Cape Town
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Specialty: Indian sweetmeats & Indian catering
Tel: +27 (0) 21 637 1653
SA Blog recommends a visit? Definitely

Further Insight & Opinion
Spare a thought for Abdu-Kader and Shehnaaz Lockhat. Each week, they watch dozens of kilograms of mittai – traditional Indian sweetmeats – march tray-by-tray out the front door of their home. During their working day, they are up to their necks in the rich, tempting confections of condensed milk, cream, ghee (clarified butter), almonds, saffron, shredded coconut, sugar and chickpea dhal flour. Imagine living with such a variety of fudges, doughnuts and other syrupy treats!

There is an art to making mittai, and the Lockhats carry on a tradition of mastery started in 1977 by Abdu-Kader’s mother, ‘Appa’ Lockhat – “Appa” meaning “teacher” or “elder sister” (she founded one of the first madrassas in Gatesville in the 1960s). Over the years, the greater Cape Indian and Muslim communities have come to rely on the family’s genius for their birthdays, weddings and other celebrations – but especially for Divali and Eid-ul-Fitr. When these two dates fall closely together – as they did last year – what little sleep the husband-and-wife team get is haunted by visions of their sought-after morsels.

Like many other Indian families in Cape Town, the Lockhat’s roots are in the Indian state of Gujerat. There’s little that’s more festive than a dish of their colourfully-decorated mitthai – and these can be accompanied with an entire catered meal, if you order far enough in advance.

  • TOP DISH: Jelebi (R44/kg), which looks like a radioactive pretzel, is sweeter than maple syrup, and makes childrens’ eyes pop out. Your Correspondent’s Lovely Assistant can’t keep her hands off this stuff.

This piece originally ran, in edited form, in the 1 Nov 2005 Cape Times (“Review”). It is reprinted with permission.