Daltjies spinach and corn fritters

Daltjies Spinach and corn fritters

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.
Daltjies Spinach and corn fritters

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.

Daltjies Spinach and corn fritters

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.

Daltjies Spinach and corn fritters
Daltjies served with Boeber

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.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Daltjies Spinach and corn fritters
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Daltjies or Spinach and corn fritters are a delicious and easy to make Cape Malay appetiser, crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetisers and snacks
Cuisine: South African
Serves: 20-25
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. In a clean medium sized bowl sift the chickpea flour, cake flour and salt.
  2. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and combine with a whisk.
  3. In another bowl grate the garlic, onion and carrot and add the chopped spinach, corn kernels and chilli and stir to mix through.
  4. Finely chop the coriander leaves and stalks and add to the other vegetables.
  5. Toss the vegetables into the chickpea flour and then add the egg and water mixture.
  6. Stir to combine thoroughly and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes before frying.
  7. 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.
  8. The batter may seem thick at first but will loosed up while it rests as the vegetables start releasing their liquid.
  9. Fry until golden brown and check that they are evenly cooked before removing with a slotted spoon.
  10. Drain on kitchen paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  11. Garnish with coriander micro-greens (or chopped coriander) and serve hot.
Notes
All spices are not equal so check the flavor and taste of the batter and add more spices and seasoning where required.
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.

Author: Razena Schroeder

Always remember life is short, so live it well and be kind.

35 thoughts on “Daltjies spinach and corn fritters”

  1. Wow, the fritters looks so amazing. I am always amazed how our cuisines have some similarities yet are so unique in their own way. I am loving all the combo in this and simply can’t wait to try it out

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I suspect the similarities are due to the cultural melting pot that is Cape Town… Malay / Dutch / British / French / Indian influences abound 🙂

      Cape Malay cuisine has evolved to be completely different from the original Malay / Indonesian cuisine, and has adapted to the regionally available produce and tastes.

  2. Oh, these look wonderful! I haven’t made any fried stuff iftar this Ramadan but these might be the game changer! I love spinach pakora which I make all the time, but these with the corn and a heavier fritter is definitely something I love. Thanks for the inspiration and Ramdan Kareem!

    Nazneen

  3. This is exactly like the pakoras we make but we don’t add cake flour and egg in the batter. So lovely to see rhat your Cape Malay recipes and Indian recipes have so many resemblances – processes and ingredients in common.

    1. The cooking of the Cape Malay community has various influences resulting from the mélange of people who originally settled there. Although there are many dishes that share typically South Asian ingredients, I noticed that they are often prepared in a completely different style and bear only a passing resemblance to the original.

      Here and there the names may even be similar to dishes from the Malay / Indonesian archipelago, yet the execution is completely different having taken into account that the same tropical ingredients were not available to our local communities.

      The closest thing that I recall to the pakodas I’ve eaten in Dubai are the spinach daltjies that our neighbour used to make during Ramadan. It was basically a piece of spinach leaf (not baby spinach) dipped into the daltjie batter and shallow fried. My father loved those more than the traditional daltjies as they were less bulky and more crunchy.

  4. AssalamAlaikum Razena,
    Definitely I’ve missed this blog during my blog hop days. Mash Allah, nice recipes with clear instructions & beautiful pictures…I’m going to visit you more often
    We never used baking powder in fritters instead used baking soda…if I replace powder with baking soda is that going to make a huge difference?

    1. Wa alaykum salaam wa rahmatullah Rashida, it is great to finally have you visit 🙂 I’ve never used baking soda in the daltjies but from what I cant tell baking soda is much more potent than baking powder and you will probably require less. Let me know how it turns out if you make the substitution.

    1. I’ve tasted pakodas and although the daltjies share similar traits of chickpea flour, spices and vegetables they are more substantial and less oily. The daltjies are great with a cup of hot boeber 🙂

  5. Hi Razena, I love Cape Malay food as I have a friend here who occasionally cooks it when she has a party! These fritters are going on to my to-do list, I can’t wait to make them for Iftar in the coming week!

  6. Assalamualaikum Razena,
    What caught my eye was… the word ‘cape malay’.
    I am from Malaysia (now residing in Australia) and of mix heritage (Indian-Thai-Chinese) but I consider myself as Malay, brought up as one, speak like one and have Malay food running amok in vein ;P.
    I read about Cape Malay more than a decade ago, when local newspaper (Malaysia) wrote about Cape Malays. It was an interesting read.
    What excite me is that I could now have the inside of Cape Malay lifestyle, food from your blog. Am definitely following your culinary journey.
    Those fritters sure looks inviting 😀

    1. Wa alaykum salaam wa rahmatullah. We are a strange mix, the Cape Malays, and our food and customs are probably unlike any found anywhere else 🙂 In shaa ALLAH you will find something familiar here 🙂

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