Updated: Feb 8
This frikkadelle recipe by Mariam Peters is a family favourite and has been dubbed kebab-frikkadel.
My family loves frikkadelle and calls them kebab-frikkadel. The spicy oval frikkadelle have their roots in Middle-Eastern cooking, although the recipe has been adapted to be a bit more piquant.
Growing up, I remember my father was a frikkadel giemba. Many a time during the week we would hear him say to my mother: “Dija, ôs het lankie frikkadelle gehattie. Hoekom maak djy nie frikkadel die wiekie?” Invariably my mom would reply: “Ismail, ôs het Sondag frikkadel gehad!”
Dija, ôs het lankie frikkadelle gehattie. Hoekom maak djy nie frikkadel die wiekie?
My dad loved tamatiefrikkadel (meatballs in tomato sauce), oondfrikkadel (plain meatballs with parsley baked in the oven with potato slices wedged between them), frikkadelkerrie, and this recipe, kebab-frikkadel. And let’s not forget my worst childhood supper, oumens onder die kombers – as a child, I hated cabbage. While everyone was happy with three frikkadelle, my dad always pushed the limits with five or six. Let’s just say that we kept the butcher in business with our mince demands.
My father passed on nearly 12 years ago, but whenever I make this recipe, I think of him. He would probably have told me that my mom’s was better.
A word of warning – your entire house will smell of garlic and spices when you’re done.
Kebab-frikkadel can be fried in a pan or baked in the oven, depending on your taste. You can also put thick potato slices between the frikkadel when you bake them. When the potatoes are done, so are the frikkadel.
They can be fried as is or with a boiled egg inside each, as my mom used to do. She allowed two boiled egg frikkadels per person, but always gave up one of hers, like many mothers and wives do, to let my dad have three!
Mariam Peters' Kebab-frikkadels
• 3 slices stale bread, soaked in milk
• 50 ml oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 5 cloves garlic, finely crushed
• 10 ml coriander powder (koljana)
• 10 ml Pakco original masala
• 3 ml turmeric
• 1 t salt
• 500 g beef mince
• 1 egg
Drain the bread and squeeze the milk out until you have a nice thick dough.
Heat the oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion. Cook until translucent and add the garlic. Ensure that it does not burn. Add the coriander, masala, turmeric and salt and fry until all the spices have combined and are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the bread, mince, onion mixture and egg. Don’t overmix as this makes the mince very fine. Form into oval shapes with the palms of your hands.
Fry in a little oil over medium heat until the frikkadelle are done. Serve with savoury or spicy rice and vegetables.