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One of my fondest memories of growing up was when, on those odd occasions when I had a spare R5 (or was it R2 back then?), that I could drop it on a vetkoek and mince at the skool snoepie (school tuckshop). Both my mother and grandmother made delicious vetkoek, but there was something about how the skool tannies made their vetkoek that made it such a treat. One particular favourite of mine was the curry mince vetkoek, which I’ve been trying to replicate ever since. I might just have nailed it this time.


TIME: rising time + baking time + frying time / MAKES: 1 x 20 cm vetkoek cake / SERVES: 6 – 8


for the vetkoek

TIME: Rising time + 30 minutes.

250 g (445 ml) white bread flour

250 g (445 ml) cake flour

10 ml salt

1 x 10 g packet instant yeast

15 ml sugar

315 ml lukewarm water 

600 ml sunflower oil

for the curry mince

TIME: 2½ hours / SERVES: 6 – 8

60 ml olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

20 ml fennel seeds

10 ml dried chilli flakes

25 ml garam masala

20 ml ground coriander

20 ml ground cumin

10 ml ground cardamom

10 ml ground cinnamon

3 ml ground ginger

juice of 1 lemon

1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes

1 x 400 ml tin coconut cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper

100 ml olive oil

1 kg beef mince

15 g fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped


for the vetkoek

Place the flours, salt and yeast into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the sugar to the water and, with the mixer on a low speed, add the sugar water. Mix well and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Rub a large clean bowl with a little sunflower oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the dough with biodegradable clingfilm and leave in a warm place to double in volume. The length of time this takes will depend on how warm it is. Knock down the dough and roll it into a long cylinder.

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Spray a 20 – 23 cm saucepan with edible food spray. Place an empty tin in the centre of the saucepan. Divide the dough into balls and arrange around the tin. Cover with biodegradable cling wrap and let it double in volume. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out of oven and carefully remove the tin and the vetkoek cake from the saucepan. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Place the vetkoek in oil and fry until golden. Take out and drain on a kitchen towel.

for the curry mince

Over a medium heat, heat the 60 ml olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft and translucent. Add the fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Fry for 1 minute. Add the rest of the spices and fry for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and coconut cream. Season with salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Heat the 100 ml olive oil in another large saucepan and add the mince. Fry until just cooked and season with salt and pepper. Add the curry sauce and cook uncovered for 1½ hours. Add the coriander and mix.

to assemble the vetkoek cake

Halve the vetkoek cake and spoon round heaps of the curry mince on top. Cover and place ½ cucumber, thinly sliced, 100 g baby tomatoes, sliced into quarters, 50 g cauli blossom tips, 4 thinly sliced radishes, coconut shavings and fresh mint leaves.


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