Mince Curry and Vetkoek Sishebo

Vetkoeks are a favourite South African comfort food. They are a rich part of our history as they were used as a quick and easy alternative to bread by the voortrekkers while they were on the move. These delicious, fried flour balls taste good when eaten with a sweet or savoury side. You can have your vetkoeks with tea and syrup for breakfast, or you can have them with a side of chips and sausages for lunch. However, a delicious mince curry is what goes best with the beloved fat cakes, making for a truly delicious filling. Whenever you search for South African recipes, the mince and vetkoek combo is popular. Want to try it out? Here is a recipe ideal for proudly South African families. [1]


For the curried mince, you’ll need:

2 tsp. (10 ml) of oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 cups (500 g) of mince, preferably lean beef or ostrich

½ tsp. (2,5 ml) of salt

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) of mild curry powder

5 tsp. (25 ml) of fruit chutney

1 ½ tsp. (7 ml) of vinegar

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) of tomato puree

½ tsp. (2,5 ml) of Worcestershire sauce

3/5 cup (150 ml) of water

1 large, cooked potato, peeled and cubed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a large, shallow saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add the mince and allow to brown.
  • Add the salt and curry powder and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the chutney, vinegar, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, and water and stir well.
  • Cover partially and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the potato and peas, stir gently and simmer until heated through.

For the vetkoek, you’ll need:

4 cups (1 kg) of cake flour

2 tsp. (10 g) of instant yeast

2 tsp. (10 ml) salt

2 ½ cups (650 ml) of lukewarm water

4 cups (1 l) of oil for deep-frying


  • Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast and salt. Mix well.
  • Add just enough lukewarm water to make a soft dough and knead for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands.
  • Coat the top of the dough with oil, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
  • Break off pieces of dough. Shape into rounds and leave in a warm place to rise once more until double in volume.
  • Heat the oil until very hot and deep-fry the vetkoek until golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towelling.
  • Make a slit in the vetkoek and fill with the hot curried mince mixture. Sprinkle the filling with extra coriander leaves, press the vetkoek gently to close and serve.

You’ll be able to feed 8 hungry tummies with this recipe. Enjoy!