South African Vetkoek with Curried Mince

I‘m a happy chappie when I hear that there’s vetkoek on the menu! I mean who wouldn’t a bite of crispy deep-fried bread filled with some delicious, curried mince and then following that up with one that’s filled with salted butter, apricot jam/honey/syrup and grated cheddar cheese? It always reminds me of my days in after care – it was MY HOUR when it was VETKOEK HOUR (haha)

Feel free to substitute the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour. You could also make the dough ahead of time, by sectioning the dough after its first proof and storing each piece of sectioned dough in its own plastic bag. Tie a knot and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them up. The bag will expand and harden quite a bit but that’s only a natural reaction from the activated yeast. I’d recommend you use it within a week.

This is also a great option for when you have an upcoming event where you need to serve finger food. You can just prepare much smaller balls of dough and this recipe would yields about 60 small vetkoeke. Also, you can obviously shape them as you’d like, some like rounder ball like vetkoeke and others like a flatter, naan bread like shape. You’re the chef so, as always, do what makes YOU happy in the kitchen!

Check the recipe video below to see what the final product will be looking like!

Vetkoek

  • Servings: 16 large/20 medium
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1kg all-purpose flour, extra for dusting
  • 10g fine salt
  • 15g sugar
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 750ml water, lukewarm
  • Oil for frying

Directions

  1. Add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast to a large mixing bowl and mix.
  2. Once mixed, add the lukewarm water and mix until just combined. Tip onto a clean working surface and knead for about 10mins. Use additional flour to bring the wet dough together – I used about 1/4 of additional flour but this might not be the case for you. Just be mindful of the fact that you don’t want the dough to be dry so don’t add too much flour.
  3. Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingwrap. Place in a warm area for about an hour or until it has doubled in sized. This would be the perfect time to make the curried mince if you are making one.
  4. Section the risen dough into 4 large sections and then each of those sections into 4 or 5 sections depending on whether you’re making large or medium vetkoeke. Roll them into balls and place them on an oiled or floured tray and cover with a clean cloth. Allow to rest for about 20mins. Meanwhile, bring the oil to a medium heat. When the oil has reached 200 degrees celsius you’re good to go. A steady medium heat usually does the trick – you don’t want the oil to be just below it’s smoking point.
  5. Pick up the dough with your hand and gentle drop it into the hot oil – be mindful of working around the hot oil. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t keep its shape when picking it up. You want the dough to gentle bubble to ensure that you’re vetkoek cooks through. If it changes color too quickly, you’ll end up with a raw interior. Cook the vetkoek in batches, each batch taking around 5 minutes. Place the cooked vetkoek on a tray lined with kitchen towels and serve immediately.


Curried Mince

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup water, separated
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp fruit chutney
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Saute the oil, diced onion, cardamom pod, cinnamon, Kashmiri chilli powder and mild curry powder on a medium high heat until lightly charred.
  2. Add the beef mince, fresh ginger and garlic to the onions and cook until the mince has changed color. Use a wooden spoon to break the mince into small pieces.
  3. Add the cubed potatoes, 1/2 cup water and salt and mix. Cook covered until the potatoes until tender.
  4. Add 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1/4 cup water and fruit chutney and mix. Cook covered for 5mins and salt to taste if needs be. Remove from the heat until you’re ready to serve.


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