One of my favourite Ramadhan treats since childhood has been Daltjies spinach and corn fritters made with chickpea flour. They are a ubiquitous Cape Malay appetiser found on the tables of most homes during Ramadhan.
It is usually eaten at the time of breaking the fast with soup, boeber or falooda milkshake. Click on the links for recipes for my mushroom soup, red lentil soup, boeber and falooda milkshake recipes.
My favourite daltjies during childhood were those made by my father’s sister Gadija and his niece Faieka. I was never able to master either of their recipes, to my great disappointment.
In my recent experience (the past 22 years), our neighbour makes the most delicious daltjies, sometimes including cubed or sliced potato or diced viennas. On every visit home I look forward to a treat coming over the back wall 🙂
Her daughter recently sent me her mother’s recipe and I saw that the secret ingredient was, some sugar added to the batter. I added a teaspoonful to my recipe and the difference is imperceptible to be honest.
A few years ago my mother’s friend gave me a tip that transformed my daltjies spinach and corn fritters. She suggested that I use a popular pre-packaged daltjie mix and just add sweet corn. It resulted in the most delightful flavour combination, and one I have tried to recreate here without using any pre-pack mix.
These Daltjies or Spinach and corn fritters are a made from scratch and are a delicious and easy to make Cape Malay appetiser, crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.
They are delicious at iftar served with warm Boeber, a milky and nourishing beverage scented with cinnamon and cardamom, or Falooda milkshake flavored with rose syrup. For other Iftar ideas you can check my Ramadhan recipes.
- 100 grams chickpea flour (approximately 250 ml or 1 cup)
- 140 grams cake or fine sponge flour (approximately 250 ml or 1 cup)
- 10 ml baking powder (approximately 2 level teaspoons)
- ½ - ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust as required)
- 7.5 ml ground cumin (approximately 1½ teaspoon)
- 5 ml ground coriander (approximately 1 teaspoon)
- 2.5 ml turmeric powder (approximately ½ teaspoon)
- 1 small red onion, finely grated (approximately 40 grams)
- 1 small carrot, finely grated (approximately 40 grams)
- 50 grams chopped spinach (approximately 250 ml or 1 cup)
- 125 ml sweet corn kernels (approximately ½ cup)
- 1 or 2 chopped green chillies
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 egg plus water to make 200 ml liquid.
- 5 ml olive oil (approximately 1 teaspoon)
- 5 ml sugar (approximately 1 teaspoon)
- Oil for deep frying
- Coriander micro-greens for garnish
- In a clean medium sized bowl sift the chickpea flour, cake flour and salt.
- Add the ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and combine with a whisk.
- In another bowl grate the garlic, onion and carrot and add the chopped spinach, corn kernels and chilli and stir to mix through.
- Finely chop the coriander leaves and stalks and add to the other vegetables.
- Toss the vegetables into the chickpea flour and then add the egg and water mixture.
- Stir to combine thoroughly and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes before frying.
- Add the baking powder just before frying and mix through thoroughly before frying off tablespoon fulls of batter in oil at least 5 cm deep.
- The batter may seem thick at first but will loosed up while it rests as the vegetables start releasing their liquid.
- Fry until golden brown and check that they are evenly cooked before removing with a slotted spoon.
- Drain on kitchen paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Garnish with coriander micro-greens (or chopped coriander) and serve hot.
If you want it a bit spicier, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon chilli powder.
If you don't have spinach, then kale or swiss chard may be used instead.
I used a small ice cream scoop to obtain even sized balls.
The balls will roll over when they are cooked on the one side.
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This recipe was first published on 05/06/2016 has since been updated.