Traditional Cape Malay dhaltjies recipe

Posted on 4 April 2022

If you haven’t tried this quintessential Cape Malay snack, you’re missing out.

Dhaltjies are made from chickpea flour with spinach, onion, and turmeric, which form a dough. Then, it’s dropped into hot oil to deep fry. They go really well with dhania (coriander) chutney or sweet chilli sauce.


Picture: Flickr Commons/Hungry Dudes

Dhaltjies are also surprisingly easy to make and are a great party food because you can whip up a huge batch without much work. Take a look at this quick recipe.


Makes around 20 dhaltjies

  • Sunflower oil for deep frying
  • 250 ml self-raising flour
  • 250 ml chickpea flour
  • 10 ml baking powder
  • 10 ml turmeric
  • 10 ml masala
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 5 leaves of spinach, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 5 ml salt


Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the onions and spinach and mix together well. Make a well in the centre of the dough, add the egg and mix.

Add around 200 ml to 250 ml water to form a dough. Mix the dough until the texture has an ‘easy drop’ consistency.

Fill a pot halfway with oil and heat so it’s medium-hot (not boiling). Use a dessert spoon dipped in oil to scoop up enough dough to make one dhaltjie (a golf-ball size).

Drop the dhaltjie into the oil and fry until cooked in the centre (use a skewer stick to poke the centre of the dhaltjie to check if it’s cooked). Drain the dhaltjie on paper towl.

You can cook around four or five dhaltjies at once, depending on the size of your pot.

Recipe by Zainie Misbach

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