While Ramadaan is about fasting, a lot of emphasis is placed on food.

Faldela Williams, author of The Cape Malay Cookbook, says many families are choosing to go the healthier route when breaking their fasts at the end of each day.

People are steering clear of the traditional deep-fried foods and are baking favourites like daltjies and samoosas. Many are also including cubes of fresh fruit with their nibbles.

Main meals include traditional vegetable soup dishes, but the more adventurous are trying out chicken and corn and other recipes, says Williams.

She says many working mothers have become time efficient. They make big pots of soup and then divide them into smaller portions to be frozen and served at any time.

Pasta dishes have become a big feature as they are filling and very simple to make.

Williams adds that while her cookbook has been available for 22 years, in the week before Ramadaan, the demand suddenly spikes and needs a new print run.

Another staple is the Boeka Treats book produced by the Boorhaanol Islam Movement. Thousands of copies have been sold since its launch in 1999.

Spokesman Kiyaam Bassier says they expect to sell about 10 000 copies this year.

Boeka Treats contains recipes of treats traditionally made for the time Muslims break their fast or “Boeka time”.

This year, Boeka Treats takes a leap into the future as it goes digital.

The package has 10 step-by-step demonstrations on DVD, 30 recipes and a guide to 340 flop-proof recipes published in other editions. - Cape Argus