Traditional South African Pampoen Koekies: How to Make This Traditional Dish

in Foodies Bee Hive7 months ago

(In a previous post, I wrote about the traditional Afrikaans Kook kos and gave a broad overview of the plate of food, or of all the various components of traditional Afrikaans kook kos.)[] I said in the post that I will write down the recipes of the individual components in due time. This week, I will introduce one of the most delicious components of traditional Afrikaans Kook kos: Pampoen koekies, or pumpkin fritters or flapjacks (directly translated as pumpkin cookies).

Pampoen koekies are only one component to kook kos, but it might be my favorite. It is not considered as dessert even though it is better than most desserts. This is not something you want to eat while dieting. I think most younger generations, especially those living abroad, will always long back home when they think about their grandmothers cooking and pampoen koekies. This weekend was obviously mother's day for those in countries that celebrate mother's day, so we spent the weekend with family and pampoen koekies were one of the dishes. I took the opportunity to snap a few images to show you how they are made.

The history of this dish is not readily available. It would probably be in some obscure book about Afrikaans history, but I could not find anything immediately online. However, I think the history would be relatively simple: there was an abundance of pumpkin and people thought about substituting it with flour that would have been a scarce item. They fried the end product and added some sugar and there we have one of the most delicious dishes. This is obviously not how it happened, but that one is left for the history books. In any case, here is the recipe and method for this awesome dish!



Cooked Pumpkin
Sugar and cinnamon

Cook the Pumpkin

There are various ways you can cook the pumpkin. Choose your desired method. The less water present in the cooked pumpkin the better. We normally use "boer pampoen" or farmers pumpkin. I am not sure what variety this is, but any pumpkin even butternut will work.



The Batter

Use a couple of cups of pumpkin. I think we used four or five cups of pumpkin. Add one egg and a couple of tablespoons of flour. It is not easy to give exact amounts because not all of the variables are the same. Sometimes there is more pumpkin or more water in the pumpkin. You will need to adjust how much flour (and eggs) to add.




The Sugar Mix

What makes this dish so special but so unhealthy is the amount of sugar you use. This recipe does not have sugar in the batter; all of the sugar goes on the outside. It is traditional to use cinnamon sugar. Making the sugar cannot be more simple: add some ground cinnamon to the sugar.

When you start to make the pampoen koekies, you layer the sugar so that it covers all of them. So start by adding some sugar on the bottom of the serving dish.



Fry the Pampoen Koekies

Now it is time to fry them. I normally use coconut oil, as this makes the best pampoen koekies and any deep/shallow fried products. But you can swap it for any type of frying oil. Fry them until brown (about one minute) and flip, do the same and place in the sugared serving dish. As this product is fried, be careful!





And there you have it! I hope you go and try this recipe and experience this awesome dish! I know, it seems like this is dessert, but this is one component to the main dish of Afrikaans traditional kook kos. Make sure to make extra because you will fight over the last one! Enjoy and stay safe.


I love so much pumpkin and never try this version. I thought I have to try it :)

It really is a treat! I hope you try it :D

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