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Daltjie Chili Bites

Daltjie Chili Bites

Course Appetizer
Keyword African Bird's Eye Pepper, Peri-Peri Pepper, Thai Pepper
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 fritters
Calories 74kcal


For the daltjies

  • 4 peri-peri chilies finely chopped, seeds and all. Thai bird’s eye chilies would also be grand.
  • 1 cup chickpea flour sieved
  • 2 tablespoons strong white bread flour sieved
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 yellow onion medium-sized, peeled, and very finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach very roughly chopped into pieces about 1/3 inch ‘diameter’. Because the daltjies are fried hot and fast, I remove most of the thicker white stalks from the spinach leaves.
  • 15 grams fresh cilantro finely chopped, stalks and all
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cold water

For frying the daltjies

  • 2 1/2 cups sunflower oil In a high-sided, 9-inch skillet, that amount of oil will be about 2 ½ inches deep. That’s perfect for cooking the daltjies.


Making the daltjies’ batter

  • This is easy. In a good size mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the water.
  • Now gradually stir in the water, and keep stirring until everything is thoroughly combined. That’s it, done. You’ll have a fairly thick batter that’s just liquid enough to slip slowly off a metal spoon. Time for some hot and fast frying.

Cooking the daltjies

  • Heat the oil over a high heat in the skillet until it starts shimmering — but not smoking. To test if the oil is hot enough for the daltjies, slowly slide a teaspoon of the batter into the oil. If that little blob of batter pops back up to surface after 5 seconds or so, then the oil is ready.
  • You’re looking to fry five or six daltjies at the same time. For each one, take a level tablespoon of the batter and carefully slide it off the spoon into the oil. You’re aiming to form each spoonful of batter into a neat round as it slips into the oil.
  • Let each daltjie sizzle away for 90 seconds, then turn it over and let it fry for another 90 seconds. When each one is nicely golden all over, transfer them with a slotted spoon onto kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter until all the daltjies are cooked. Then arrange them on a warmed dish and serve. To add to the delight of your fellow diners, perhaps offer your favorite hot sauce alongside.


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg