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Crispy Fish Batter

Salwaa’s Crispy Fish Batter

Fish and chips taste so much better when you make it yourself from scratch and if you follow my recipe below you’ll get perfectly fried fish every time! You can use my recipe for snoek, hake, cod or even prawn. You can also follow my youtube video, link below, for easy reference.

Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive since 2011!

You can use any fish of choice like snoek, hake, cod etc. I prefer using cod cut into small pieces.

For the batter:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 TBSP brown vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper / cayenne
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1/2 cup soda water or more

Mix together into a batter, the mixture should not be runny.

Season fish lightly with salt and dust slightly with extra flour.

Dip the fish, both sides into the batter, you can repeat the dipping for a thicker batter and shallow / deep fry for a few minutes aside until light brown and crispy. Remove the fried fish gently from the oil and drain on paper towel.

Serve with chips, tartar sauce, lemon atchar, pickled onions or a squeeze of lemon juice. Alternative sprinkle the fish liberally with brown vinegar and salt.

You’ll find my tartar recipe below.

Salwaa’s Homemade Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise 

1 pickled gherkin finely chopped 

1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley 

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve with any fish, prawns, calamari etc…


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Ingelegde Vis (Pickled Fish)

Ingelegde Vis (Pickled Fish) – Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delight
Pickled fish is a sweet and sour dish which is traditionally eaten over Easter time. This is a very tasty way of preparing fish and can be cooked in advance. The flavour improves with time and stays fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator . Here I have used yellow tail to make this pickled fish. You may use snoek or any other firm fish. Best eaten cold.

Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish

Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish

1kg snoek or any firm fish cut into large slices
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 cup  brown vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 large onions, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander / koljana
1 tsp ground cumin / jeera
1/2 tsp turmeric /borrie
1/4 tsp dry ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5 bay leaves
Season the fish chunks with salt and pepper, and quick-fry till opaque in a well-oiled pan. Remove and set aside.

Yellow Tail

Yellow Tail

Wipe the pan, and fry the sliced onions till they turn golden. Add the liquids and the spices, raise to boil, turn low and simmer for about five minutes. Turn off heat, allow to cool slightly.

Arrange the fish chunks and sliced lemon in a pyrex or glass dish, and pour sauce over. Cover, and refrigerate when completely cold. Leave the pickled fish to marinade for a day or two before eating. The flavour improves the longer its left before eating and will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Serve with crusty buttered bread.

Fried Yellow Tail

Fried Yellow Tail


Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish

Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish

© Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

Oven Grilled Mackerel Fillets

Oven Grilled Mackerel Fillets – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith
A quick and easy fish dish to prepare that will have you licking your lips and fingers. Use any fish of choice instead of the mackerel.

Mackerel with lemon, onion and chilli slices

Mackerel with lemon, onion and chilli slices

Serves 4
4 mackerel fillets
Sprinkle with salt and freshly grind black pepper to taste
Add slices of onion, lemon, red and green chillies
Dot with garlic and herb butter
Grill in a preheated oven on medium to high for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve with fresh garden salad and/or lemon fried rice.


Served With Lemon Fried Rice

Served With Lemon Fried Rice

© Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

Salmon & Lemon Fried Rice


Salmon served with lemon fried rice & Salmon served on a bed of sweet potatoes, mashed

Salmon & Sweet Potato

Lemon Rice – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa SmithPacked with flavour, this zesty lemon rice is great accompanied with fish. Here I served it with Salmon fried in chilli butter

4 cups cooked rice, preferably long grain or basmati
2 tsp coriander / koljana seeds
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
8 curry leaves
3 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 ½ tsp turmeric / borrie
Juice of 2 lemons
Gently roast and then coarsely powder the coriander seeds. Keep aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till the spluttering stop, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the turmeric powder and turn off the heat.

Add the lemon juice and mix well.

Add the rice, roasted coriander powder and mix thoroughly.

To Make Chilli Butter
125 g soft salted butter
1 tsp crushed dried red chillies
Mix together the butter and dried chillies in a small bowl. Transfer and wrap the butter in clingfilm, roll it into a log. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the butter is hard. Cut in slices and use as required. Left over chilli butter can be frozen for later use.

Lemon Rice
© Cape Malay Cooking






Fish Breyani

Fish Breyani Fish Breyani

Fish Breyani – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith

From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive since 2011!



3 cups long grain rice or basmati rice

1½ cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 cup cooking oil

3 large potatoes

2 large onions, sliced thinly

1kg firm fish pieces of your choice, like hake or snoek

1 tomato, chopped

¼ cup buttermilk

1 – 2 green chillies, chopped

1½ tsp jeera / cumin

3 cloves

3 allspice

3 cardamoms

2 stick cinnamons

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp butter


Fish Masala

7 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

½ – 1 tsp chilli powder

3 tsp jeera / cumin

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp turmeric / borrie

1 Tbsp vegetable oil



Boil the rice in water until half done. Drain, rinse and set aside. Peel the potatoes, cut into slices. Heat the oil in saucepan, fry the potatoes until lightly browned and semi soft, set aside.

Drain excess oil from the saucepan, add the chopped onions, fry until golden brown. Add the chopped tomato, buttermilk, green chillies, jeera, cloves, allspice, cardamoms, stick cinnamon and salt.

Simmer over low to medium heat for 10 minutes or until onions are soft.

Meanwhile, make the masala to fry the fish. Combine all the spices in a small bowl, stir to combine. Wash and dry the fish pieces, smear the masala mixture all over the fish. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before frying in the left over oil used for frying the potatoes.

Arrange the potato slices at the bottom of a large heavy based pot / saucepan. Add half of the rice on top of the potatoes, spreading it evenly. Arrange the fish slices on top of the rice, then the onion mixture, then the mixed vegetables ending with the remaining rice. Dot the butter on top of the rice add 1 cup of hot water.

Cover and steam to complete over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving with lemon atchar or blatjang.

© Cape Malay Cooking





Prawn Breyani

Prawn Breyani

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


500g Basmati rice

1 kg large prawns shelled and deveined

To marinate prawns:

1 cup yogurt

Juice of 1 lime/ lemon

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tablespoons garlic paste

1 tablespoon ginger paste

Salt to taste

To fry: 4 large onions sliced thinly (divided into 3 equal portions)

3 large tomatoes chopped finely

For dry masala/ spice mix:

2 tablespoons whole koljana/coriander seeds

1 tablespoons whole jeera/cumin seeds

1 tablespoon saunf/ aniseed/ fennel seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

2 pieces of cinnamon

5 cloves

5 green cardamom

10-12 black peppercorns

2 dry red chillies

For wet masala: 2 green chillies

1/2 cup fresh dhanya leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped dhanya/coriander leaves

4-5 tablespoons cooking oil


Wash the rice. Soak it in warm water for 30 minutes.

Cook the rice till almost done. Drain remaining water (if any) and keep aside.

Marinate the prawns with the marinating ingredients.

Heat a flat pan on a medium heat and gently roast all ingredients mentioned under “For dry masala/ spice mix” till they start to become slightly darker and give off a faint aroma.

Now grind all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder or use a mortal & pestle.

Grind the ingredients mentioned under “For wet masala”, to a smooth paste in a food processor.

Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan till hot and then fry 1 of the 3 portions of sliced onions till crispy and golden. When done, drain and remove from the oil and keep aside on paper towels to garnish breyani later.

In the same oil, add the remaining sliced onions and fry till soft. Now add the tomatoes and fry till soft.

Add all the dry and wet masala ingredients prepared earlier and fry till the oil begins to separate from the whole mix.

Now add the prawns and all the marinade to this spice mix. Stir and allow to cook till the prawns are done. Do not overcook as the prawns will get rubbery in texture. Season with salt if required.

Remove from heat.

Take a large, deep baking dish/ ovenproof dish (it MUST have its own cover) and grease lightly with cooking oil. Layer the rice and prawn as follows: rice – prawn – rice. End with a layer of rice.

Garnish with the crispy fried onions, chopped dhanya leaves. Cover the dish and seal tightly.

Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.

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