South African Recipe for Durban Chili Bites

November 16, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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To finish off our recipe week, we asked Chef Sidney for a recipe from his childhood in South Africa. He’s sent us a delectable treat, Durban Chili Bites, which he learned to make from his Zulu nanny when he was still a child. “Edith would run around like a mother hen when I decided to make them,” Chef Sidney recalls, “as she was so worried about the hot oil on the stove. However, she would allow me to do it all, and all through the process ensure I was made aware or the dangers of working with hot oil, something I still so vividly recall at times when I find myself without a deep fat fryer and having to use a pot.”

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Durban Chili Bites

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Cook method: Fry


  • 150 gr chickpea flour
  • 15 ml cake flour
  • 1 medium-sized potato, coarsely grated
  • 1 medium-sized onion, grated
  • 10 ml coriander seeds, coarsely ground
  • 5 ml cumin, coarsely ground
  • 3 green chilies, finely pounded
  • 5 ml salt
  • 5 ml paprika
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • A handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 25 ml spring onions, diced
  • Oil for frying


  1. Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix in enough water to make a batter similar to the consistency of thick pancake batter.
  3. In the meantime, heat some oil in a large frying pan. Drop the batter by spoonfuls into the oil, frying them, and turning them over when the fritters are golden brown.
  4. Once both sides are golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper.
  5. Serve hot.

You can learn to make this and more on a cooking vacation with The International Kitchen!

Try other South African recipes: putu pap (maize porridge), chakalaka sauce, and chicken galinha à africana.

Try making the chili bites this weekend and let us know what you think!

By Peg Kern

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