Recreate The Table Bay’s spiced calamari and bring Easter into your home

Eating curried fish at Easter is a Western Cape tradition, thought to have originated from Cape Malay cooking as a way to preserve fish during a time when boats were not going out to sea.

This aromatic delicacy has become a South African staple, often eaten by Christians lieu of meat on Easter Friday. Table Bay Executive Chef Lindsay Venn has recreated the traditional pickled hake and onions dish using calamari, in an effort to present diners with something different. “I’ve put a retro spin on a traditional dish, taking it to a new level and serving it warm instead of cold,” he said.

For those who might not live in the Cape where they can come to The Table Bay and order this and other dishes over the Easter weekend, Venn has shared his recipe for Cape Malay Spiced calamari, served with a Bo Kaap Siracha mayonnaise.


Baby calamari 150g

Flour 50g

Salt 10g

Rajah curry spice (mild) 15g

Mayonnaise 50ml

Cape Malay pickle 50g

Curry leaves 5g

Sultanas 10g

Cape Malay pickle (Make the day before)

50g onions

30ml brown vinegar

20ml water

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon all spice

¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

Pinch of chili flakes

1 cinnamon sticks

¼ teaspoon cumin

Put ingredients in a pot and reduce by half. Place in container for use the following day.


Mix flour, salt and curry spice in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix salt and curry spice for seasoning.

Clean squid tentacles and slice the baby tubes in half lengthwise. Combine mayonnaise and curry spice.

Deep fry curry leaves in hot oil until they stop popping. Mix the calamari with the flour mix above. Deep fry squid until golden brown. remove and put on paper towel to drain oil. Lightly season with curry salt

Put warm Cape Malay pickle in centre of plate, add fried, seasoned calamari on top of pickle.

Garnish with sultanas, deep fried curry leaves and decorate plate with curry mayonnaise dots.