Daltjies aka Chilli Bites

daltjies chilli bites

Many in SA know these balls of spicy deliciousness as “chilli bites”. The Indians have something very similar called a “pakora”. But Cape Malays call it a “daltjie”. It’s a delicious Cape Malay snack best enjoyed spicy, and is a staple on the iftaar table during Ramadan. It’s usually eaten plain, but dunking it into a tamarind dip is delicious, too.

You don’t need to wait for Ramadan, though. If you want a spicy snack or just feel like experimenting with something new, then these daltjies aka chilli bites are a must-try.

(If you like spicy, then try my Hot and Sour Cabbage recipe.)


Tasty iftaar treat, but can be enjoyed whenever the craving strikes.


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups gram flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted masala a ready-made blend of Indian spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 1 handful finely chopped spinach
  • 1 chopped Bird's Eye chilli You can use more if you want extra heat. You can also use any hot chilli you have on hand.
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl.
  • Add water little by little until it forms a batter thin enough that it runs but thick enough that it can form a ball when dropped into hot oil. Start with a quarter cup of water. Stir until just combined.
  • Drop the balls of batter into hot oil and fry until done and golden brown. You can poke it with a toothpick to check doneness.


Leftover batter can be stored in the fridge for the next day, but the texture will be slightly different after frying. Use batter within three days.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Cape Malay

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