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Mzansi’s Most-Loved Vetkoek Fillings

Authentic vetkoek and dombolo 



For the dough
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
10g dry yeast
2 cups warm water 

For the mince
Glug canola oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
1 red chilli, halved
1kg beef, pork or chicken mince
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
1 can chopped tomatoes
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt and milled black pepper  

For the vetkoek 

Vegetable oil, for frying
Spicy mince
Plain yoghurt, for serving
Fresh coriander, for serving 

For the dombolo
3 Tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, coriander or thyme), chopped 



For the dough 

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add just enough water to make a sticky, but not wet, dough.
  2. Knead dough for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back dough (releasing the air bubbles) by kneading it again.
  5. Divide dough in half.

For the mince 

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or casserole dish and fry onions for 4–5 minutes or until lightly golden.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Stir through butter, cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli and cook for another 2–3 minutes.
  4. Add mince, stirring well to coat in the spices and cook. Add a splash of water if needed.
  5. Stir through tomato paste and sugar and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, fresh coriander and chilli flakes. Cook gently for about 10 minutes with the lid on.
  7. Stir through lemon zest and juice. Season well.
  8. Serve immediately with dollops of plain yoghurt, garlic naan bread or charred tortillas.

For the vetkoek 

  1. Select one half of the dough and divide into 6 pieces.
  2. Shape each portion into a smooth ball, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
  3. Fry batches of the vetkoek in hot oil for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.
  4. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with butter or fill with spicy mince.

For the dombolo 

  1. Knead fresh herbs into the dough.
  2. Cover dough with a cloth and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
  3. Place dough into a greased metal bowl.
  4. Put metal bowl in a large pot of simmering water. The water should not come more than halfway up the side of the bowl.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and steam the bread gently for an hour or until cooked through.
  6. Serve the fresh bread with butter, spicy atchar, beef shin potjiekos or chicken feet stew.


Siphokazi Mdlankomo’s decadent chocolate-stuffed vetkoek 

MAKES 12 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 30 min 



2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ cup buttermilk or amasi
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g butter, melted
100g your favourite chocolate bars, cut into chunks
Oil, to deep-fry
Icing sugar, to dust 



1. Whisk sugar, yeast and ¾ cup lukewarm water. Set aside for 5–10 minutes, until foaming.
2. Add egg, milk, and amasi or buttermilk. Whisk to combine.
3. Place the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and butter and mix in. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm, and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45–50 minutes.
5. Knock back the dough and roll it out to 2cm thick. Cut out 12 discs. Place a chocolate chunk in the centre of each disc, fold over the sides and shape into a ball.
6. Place on a lined baking tray, cover with a cloth to rise for 15 minutes, until doubled in size.
7. Fill a deep pot with oil, place over medium heat and fry the vetkoek in batches for 2 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
8. Drain on a paper towel and dust with icing sugar. Serve warm.

Styling: Luisa Hayes
Photography: Juliette Bisset // 

Just as deliciously sweet, give your guests some variety with these caramelised banana vetkoek. 


Bobotie vetkoek bites with coconut sauce  




For the bobotie mince
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp grated ginger
½ tsp paprika
3 tomatoes, chopped
500g beef mince
½ cup grated carrots (±1)
1 red chilli, chopped
½ tsp cayenne pepper
50g flaked almonds, toasted
Handful coriander, chopped 

For the vetkoek
2 cups warm water
10g yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
690g flour 

For the coconut sauce
200ml coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper 



For the bobotie mince
1. Heat oil in a pot and fry onion, garlic, curry powder, ginger and paprika for 2–3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Add mince, carrot, chilli and cayenne pepper. Cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Season and add the almonds and coriander. Remove from the heat and cool. 

For the vetkoek
1. Combine water, yeast, sugar and salt. Set aside for 5 minutes, until foaming. (If it doesn’t bubble, the yeast has not activated and you’ll have to start again.)
2. Add the flour. Knead for 5 minutes, until elastic. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to proof in a warm place for 2 hours, until doubled in size.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knock back. Roll out and cut it into 4cm squares. Roll each one into a ball.
4. Allow the balls to proof in a warm place for 10 minutes while you heat the oil.
5. Use a slotted spoon to drop the balls into the hot oil. Fry for 3–5 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. 

For the coconut sauce
1. Whisk coconut milk, turmeric, salt and white pepper in a pot. Cook over low heat, whisking continuously, until thick and creamy.


 1. Slice each vetkoek in half and fill with bobotie mince. Serve warm with coconut sauce. 

Want another South African inspired dish? Then try this delicious South African-style boerewors corn dog recipe! 


Vetkoek with curried mince and fried egg 

SERVES 6 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 30 min 



For the vetkoek
250g store-bought bread dough, at room temperature 

For the curried mince
½ onion, chopped
1green pepper, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
2 Tbsp masala
2 Tbsp tomato paste
500g ostrich mince
Handful coriander, chopped 

To serve
6 eggs, fried
Red chillies, chopped
Handful micro herbs 



For the vetkoek
1. Divide the dough into 6 balls and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
2. Deep-fry the vetkoek, one at a time, until puffed up and golden brown, about 2–3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel. 

For the curried mince
1. Heat some oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the onions until they start to sweat.
2. Add the green pepper, chilli and spices and fry for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
3. Add the tomato paste and mince and fry until the meat is browned. Continue frying for 10 minutes, until cooked through.
4. Stir in the fresh coriander and season to taste. 

To serve
1. Slice each vetkoek in half and fill generously with curried mince, a fried egg, fresh chopped chilli and micro herbs. Serve hot.  

Recipe & styling: Leila-Ann Mokotedi
Photography: Peet Mocke // 

Apart from enjoying the traditional classics, we also love to mix a bit of local culture with international favourites! This South African chilli con carne will have some familiar ingredients and flavours. 


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