Cape Malay Sweet Potato Samosas, Spiced Apple Chutney, Curried Mayonnaise

14 Mar

This recipe is inspired by a meal we had at Apprentice in Stellenbosch. Apprentice is a restaurant owned by the Institute of Culinary Arts. All the staff, kitchen and front of house, are students from the institute serving a six month placement.

The Head Chef Hylton is a former graduate from the institute and he trains and watches over the trainees. Two of the chefs in the Top Ten restaurants of South Africa are graduates of this scheme including the winner of the award for best chef 2011/2012 Peter Tempelhoff.

We went for lunch and ordered the Tapas plate, the Greek Salad and the Roasted Vegetable Wrap. Every dish was full of flavour and well executed. Hylton was very keen to inform us that the evening menu is far more “fine dining” so he bought us an example of that menu. The Beetroot Tart came with a dukkah spiced goat’s cheese and honeycomb crumble. Really lovely. The lunch menu is more casual but no less enjoyable. They also open in the morning with a very popular breakfast menu.

Part of the tapas plate was a delicious sweet potato samosa that I was very keen to recreate at home. They make their own Cape Malay curry powder which makes a real difference to the flavour. I managed to get the recipe for both the samosas and the curry powder so now I have always got some to add to any vegetable curry or chutney that I make. I recommend that you have a go at it too.

I used a double layer of filo pastry cut into 9/10 cm strips (above) to make these. You could also use spring roll wrappers, see my tutorial here. I brushed them with olive oil and baked them rather than deep-frying but it’s up to you. The apple chutney is sweet and sticky like a spicy jam and I also made a curry mayonnaise (the yellow stripe) to go with it, made with the Cape Malay curry powder.

Sweet Potato Samosas with Apple Chutney & Curry Mayonnaise

Makes 12-15 depending size, vegetarian. Adapted from The Apprentice recipe

For the Cape Malay Curry Powder:

  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 18 curry leaves (optional)

Roast the whole spices in a dry pan for a minute until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder then add the powdered spices and curry leaves if using. Store in an airtight container.

For the samosas:

Prep time: 45 mins Cooking Time: 15 mins

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 350 gr), peeled & cut into 1/2-1 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp Cape Malay curry powder (see above)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cardamom pod, bashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 pack filo pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 1 egg & a splash milk, beaten, to stick samosas
  • olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all of the ingredients apart from the fresh coriander together and spread out in one layer on the baking tray. Bake until soft about 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool. Remove bay leaf, cardamom pod and taste. Stir through the fresh coriander. Mash slightly to create a chunky mass.

Unroll the filo, remove two layers and cover the rest with a tea towel to stop it drying out. Cut the double layer into 9 or 10 cm strips.

Take a heaped teaspoon of the sweet potato mix and lay it in a triangle shape at the bottom of the strip on the right hand side. See the pictures above. Brush the edges with the egg wash then fold the left hand side of the pastry over the filling to create the triangle.

Brush around the edges with egg wash again and fold the whole triangle up along the long edge. Brush with egg wash again and fold the triangle over to the left. Keep folding until you have reached the top and run out of pastry.

Put the folded samosa on a lined baking tray, brush the top with olive oil and continue to make samosas until you run out of filling.

Bake at 200 C for 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy.

For the Spiced Apple Chutney:

Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 25 mins

  • 1 large apple, (200 gr) peeled, cored & chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 25 gr sultanas/raisins
  • 1/2 orange, zested & juiced
  • 50 gr brown (or raw) sugar
  • 1 tsp Cape Malay curry powder (see above)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 50 ml cider vinegar

Add all the ingredients except the apples to a large frying pan, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the onions are tender. Add in the apples and cook for another 20 minutes or the apples are soft and the mix has reduced and thickened and is sticky.

Blend it with a stick blender until jammy but still a bit chunky.

For the Curried Mayonnaise:

  • 2 tbsp Cape Malay curry powder (see above)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise

In a bowl, mix together the curry powder and olive oil to a paste. Add the mayonnaise and mix vigorously until combined. If it splits add more mayo. Season with a pinch of salt & taste.

Serve the hot samosas with the apple chutney, some curry mayo and sprinkle with some more fresh coriander.

At the Institute of Culinary Arts they cultivate chefs who breathe inspiration and innovation into the culinary world. The hospitality industry is experiencing record growth and South Africa is leading the way. Food is being taken a lot more seriously and there is also a growing public interest in quality ingredients and local flavours and cuisines. The concept of giving young chefs the opportunity to learn and grow in a business enviromment is obviously a very succesful one. For more information visit their website here.


24 Responses to “Cape Malay Sweet Potato Samosas, Spiced Apple Chutney, Curried Mayonnaise”

  1. thekalechronicles March 15, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Beautiful plating, Natalie. I love the look of that sticky apple chutney.

  2. happywhennothungry March 15, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    These samosas look amazing! I love that chutney too. YUM!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide March 15, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    Those are amazing!

  4. Marina@cowboycountryvegetarian March 15, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Great samosas. I am always intimidated by filo dough. I think I had a bad experience first time… I shell give it another try…

  5. Tammy March 15, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    You outdid yourself with these!

  6. Three Well Beings March 15, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Each component is individually just beautiful! And your photos really set them apart as special. The chutney is particularly calling my name 🙂 Debra

  7. dassana@veg recipes of india March 15, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    almost all the ingredients in the curry powder list are used in indian cooking. but in indian cooking we don’t use curry powder.

    looking at this list and the samosa ingredients list, i am sure the samosas must have been awesome.

  8. peasepudding March 15, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    The meal sounded great. I love the samosas made with FILO, makes it easier to do rather than make the dough. Mind you I always seem to have problems separating the FILO sheets but I think it’s probably bad storage in the shops.

  9. frugalfeeding March 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    That looks really amazing – so delicious. I love samosas, but have never made them. I should!

  10. Tony Ward March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    mmmmmm lovely, lovely stuff. I must try to get to this place next time I’m in S’bosch and not wine tasting (that could be the tricky bit!!)
    The curry mayo’ sounds a ‘must’ for all occasions, would try the filo pastry but…’ll just have to send me some…great pic’s too. xx

  11. Priscilla M March 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Love the food, love the pictures!

  12. spree March 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Not a thing about this I don’t love. It’s quickly flying to my pinterest bulletin board for later! Thank you Natalie!

  13. kellieanderson March 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    All of the photos are incredible – makes me want to lick the screen! I hope people aren’t put off by the list of ingredients because it reads a lot simpler than first impressions might suggest. And a homemade spice mix is always a winner over bought – even from the best companies. Thanks for extracting the recipes from the chef. The beetroot tart with all the extras sounded delicious too.

  14. Beth Michelle March 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I have missed your blog and wonderful recipes the past couple of months and this is such a great dish to come back to!!
    Samosas and sweet potatoes. I am sold. This dish looks so wonderful and the presentation is beautiful! Another great recipe Natalie!

  15. Chica Andaluza March 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Beautiful and a wonderful way to make the most of the last of the sweet potatoes (round here, at least) for a while!

  16. The Mistress of Spices April 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    These are gorgeous and sound delicious! What a great idea to use sweet potatoes in samosas. And I absolutely love your plating…how do you do the mayonnaise stripe? Just with a brush?

    • foodblogandthedog April 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Yes, it’s a paintbrush I keep just for the kitchen. Hide it from anyone who may steal it for painting!!

  17. Deidre Cloete May 30, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    I would like to ask you permission to use your photograph of the sweet potato samoosas for an international conference website under the heading excursions – Cape Malay Cooking. We would acknowledge you on the site. Thank you


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