I came into this world as the last female grandchild on my mother’s side… actually also on my dad’s side I think. Any way all I know is that on both sides I am the baby.
I never met my father’s mother, but from the pictures and what my dad tells me, she seemed like a pretty strict lady but she could cook.
I knew my mother’s mother and she was also a hell of a cook and baker as well.
So you see, when I came around, I was late and all the teachers that should have been passing down family recipes to me were gone or had long given up their cooking mitts.
I love the fact that I have both Muslim and Indian blood running through my veins which is rich with tradition, culture and flavourful food. It really is just a shame that I have to try and fail and try and try till I get these recipes right all by myself. Of course I have my parents around to taste and taste and try to evoke memories from their childhoods about how these dishes should come out.
My Muslim Granny, Shariefa was known throughout our Muslim and Indian community for her baking and cooking. She could bake, everything was from scratch and everything came out perfect at the first go. I thought I was a cookbook collector. Her cookbook collection dates back to 1980 even before I made my appearance, I was lucky enough to have them passed down to me and I love paging through them, most of the time I am scared the page will just crumble under my fingers.
I love to listen to stories from my uncles and aunty and mother about their childhood about what food Ma would make, what she would bake and even some aunties who I give cookies to or who just see me, will always stop and tell me, they are lissing for my granny’s bollas or eclairs or cream horns.
The other day my mother was hinting that she wanted vetkoek and soya mince for supper and well I thought it would be super easy to make by putting everything in the bread machine and letting it do all the hard work.
I will let you in on a little secret, I never make my own dough, I normally buy the vetkoek dough from Spar and then just shape it and deep fry, but today I thought I would give it a try.
When I plopped them into the oil to deep fry they sank like the titanic and never surfaced, they did not even expand, they just stayed as flat as they were went they went into the oil.
I told my mother she should have toast, but you know how stubborn she is, she really made me dig out the flops from the rubbish bin to see where I went wrong, she eventually told me why don’t I try Ma’s recipe. I had completely forgotten that my gran had a quick and easy flop proof recipe.
Boy was I super excited when the second go at these vetkoek came out perfect. They were soo delicious that we kept fighting over who was eating more than the others.
Thank you Ma where ever you are for helping me overcome my vetkoek nightmare.
My mum told me that my gran would make this recipe whenever they went to the beach and fill it with egg curry, it was the best beach food ever.
- 3 x cups self raising flour.
- Pinch of salt
- Enough warm to make a sticky dough.
- Mix everything together in a bowl, the dough should not be dry or watery just sticking.
- Coat your hands in a little oil and break off pieces of the dough, shape into balls.
- Drop into hot oil and deep fry till golden brown all over.
- Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.