The daltjie is and always will be my number one enemy. I can’t get that perfectly-shaped, golden brown orb my aunt Rukia “Kia” Porter makes.
Although I get the colour and texture lekker, het my daltjies altyd vyf vingers or more. Seriously, ek maak spider daltjies.
It’s crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with just enough veggie crunch to compliment any bowl of soup, maar jy kan expect om a lepel op my daltjie te het, because that’s how I roll.
Daltjies are known as a vegetarian treat, and so just about any kind of vegetables can be added.
I prefer green pepper, spinach, onion, and garlic and ginger, but you can add brinjal or grated cheese.
My family usually just keep quiet when I am serving them food, want ek sal hulle chise.
But when it comes to my spider daltjies, they lag them klaar.
There’s just no respect for my daltjies, even if it’s made with love, especially for them.
Luckily, there’s always Aunty Kia. I cannot even say for how many years we’ve had warm daltjies delivered to our house every night of Ramadaan, compliments of Aunty Kia.
But a person must grow up, ne?
I’ll ma try again this year, perhaps my years of hard daltjie labour will finally pay off.
How to make Saafia’s daltjie
375 ml chilli bite mix
15 ml (1 tbsp) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
1 large onion, finely chopped or grated
1 large potato, coarsely grated
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
5 ml (1 tsp) ground jeera
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) crushed dried chillies
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) red leaf masala
5 ml (1 tsp) garlic and ginger paste
60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh dhania
125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
500 ml (2 cups) cooking oil for deep-frying
In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water and oil, and mix with just enough water to form a stiff batter.
You can use more water if necessary, but note that the batter should be able to hold its shape and not be runny.
Heat the oil in a small, but deep pot.
Once oil is hot, add a tablespoonful of batter, one spoon at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pot and to allow space for turning daltjies.
Fry on either side till golden brown and crisp.
Monitor the temperature of the oil to ensure that it does not become too hot while frying.
Pierce the chilli bite with a fork to test if it’s properly cooked through.
If the fork comes out dry, then the chilli bites are ready. Remove from the oil and drain in a colander or on paper towel.