Vetkoek – Traditional South African Food.
Vetkoek is an old South African favourite, especially on cold and windy days. “Vetkoek” is an Afrikaans word and pronounced Fet-Cook. Literally it means fat cake. It is very easy to make and delicious! Vetkoek originated from my our Dutch ancestors and is in essence bread dough that is fried in oil. It is then filled with either cooked mince, chicken, syrup, honey or jam.
Vetkoek is very similar to the Dutch Oliebolle and similar in taste to the Mexican Sopapillas.
I remember as a child we used to stop at a Vetkoek take-away in Parys, South Africa. We always use to buy Vetkoek there when we travelled to the house of my grandfather in Bultfontein. It was a long journey and the Vetkoek stop remained a favourite. I am not sure if this place is still operating today but it was famous for it’s tasty and large vetkoeke.
How to make Vetkoek?
I have mentioned before that it is very easy to make vetkoek. It does take time to prepare the dough and filling but the cooking process is easy. Vetkoek is made from flour, salt, yeast and sugar.
- 7 cups of all purpose flour;
- 2 teaspoons of salt;
- 2 tablespoons of sugar;
- 1 packet of yeast;
- Lukewarm water;
- 500 ml of cooking oil for frying the dough.
Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl. Mix the sugar and yeast in lukewarm water until it foams. Pour the yeast mix into the flour and knead together. Mix the lukewarm water into the dough until it resembles bread dough. Cover the bowl with a cloth for about 50 minutes. The dough should rise to double its original size. My kitchen is cold and I normally leave the mixture covered in the sun for a while.
Prepare the filling. It can be anything really but we prefer ground beef or chicken with vegetables and curry.
Pour the cooking oil into a pan and heat the oil.
Divide the dough into balls (size of tennis balls) and flatten with your hand (about the size of your palm).
Place two or three pieces inside the oil and fry until golden brown.
Cut the vetkoek open and stuff it with your favourite filling.