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.)
- 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.