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RECIPE | Dhaltjies (chilli bites)

Dhaltjies are the perfect party food as they're quick and easy to make and you get a lot out of one batch. These spicy bites also pair wonderfully with soup

12 May 2019 - 00:00 By Fatima Sydow and Gadija Sydow Noordien
Spicy dhaltjies.
Spicy dhaltjies.
Image: Supplied/Cape, Curry & Koesisters

Makes: 30-40


500ml (2 cups) chana flour (chickpea flour)

500ml (2 cups) cake flour

15ml (1 tbsp) baking powder

10ml (2 tsp) salt (or to taste)

10ml (2 tsp) turmeric

15ml (1 tbsp) roasted masala

1 egg

1 onion, grated

15ml (1 tbsp) finely grated garlic

1 potato, peeled and grated

500-750ml (2-3 cups) chopped spinach

500ml (2 cups) water or just enough to make a thick batter

1 litre (4 cups) oil for deep-frying


  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, together in a bowl. The batter should not be runny but should have a dropping consistency.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot and drop in a spoonful of batter at a time, using your finger to push the batter off the spoon and into the oil. Do not drop the batter from a height as this will cause the hot oil to splash.
  3. Fry on medium heat until you see the dhaltjies flip over on their own or very easily when you do it - they need 2-3 minutes on each side. Don't allow the oil to become too hot as this will result in a dhaltjie that is burnt on the outside and is raw inside.
  4. Remove the dhaltjies with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel.

This recipe is extracted from 'Cape, Curry & Koesisters' (Human & Rousseau, R350). The authors, twin sisters Fatima Sydow and Gadija Sydow Noordien, like nothing better than sharing their Cape culture through their love of cooking and baking. The pair decided to publish a cookbook following the success of TV show, 'Kaap, Kerrie & Koesisters'. The book is a visual feast and includes some excellent ideas for Ramadan and the Eid celebration.