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The mere thought of “Melkkos” takes me way back.  Back to a rainy winter’s night, and my wonderful Afrikaans neighbour, Mrs Snyman, standing there stirring the pot religiously.  I can only imagine that “IS IT DONE YET?” must have been written all over my and her children’s  faces as the smell that was coming from that pot was nothing short of heaven.  To say we loved the stuff would be an understatement of note.
“Melkkos”, which directly translates to Milkfood, is a South African classic and more particularly an Afrikaans tradition of sorts. It is a comforting milk and cinnamon dish that can be served as a light breakfast, lunch or evening meal. There are many variations of the recipe, and two main variations of the dish. “Melkkos” is the one I grew up but I  will be showing you both today. “Melkkos” is made by rubbing butter into flour which then gets cooked in milk.  It produces a smooth porridge of sorts, with a few lumps here and there.“Melksnysels” is the other main variation. It is made by making a dough out of flour, egg and a little water which then gets rolled flat and cut into strips (similar to making pasta by hand), which in turn gets cooked in milk. Both are sprinkled generously with cinnamon sugar before serving.
To make cinnamon sugar, simply mix white sugar with ground cinnamon.

MELKKOS

Melkkos

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 litre / 4 cups fresh, whole milk plus 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups / 180 g  cake flour, sifted
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cinnamon sugar, for serving

Preparation:

  1. Slowly bring the 4 cups of milk to the boil in a saucepan over a medium heat
  2. Add the bay leaf and the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce the heat, then remove the cinnamon and bay leaf
  4. Combine the flour and salt
  5. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  6. Mix a little of the flour mixture with the 1/2 cup cold milk until well combined
  7. Blend it into the hot milk (using a stick blender will produce a silky smooth texture)
  8. Add the rest of the flour mixture to the milk, stirring continuously until the flour is completely incorporated (if possible using a stick blender, but not essential)
  9. Slowly cook for 10 to 12 minutes, taking care not to let it burn, and stirring continuously
  10. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  11. Enjoy!

 

MELKSNYSELS

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups / 240 g  cake flour
Water
2 litres / 8 cups whole milk
2 sticks cinnamon
Cinnamon sugar for serving

Preparation:

Gently beat the eggs and salt together
Add the flour and mix well
Add just enough water to form a stiff dough
Knead well until smooth and elastic
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 5 mm / 1/4 inch
Cut out thin strips of about 5 mm / 1/4 inch
Toss the strips in some flour
Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the cinnamon sticks and bring to the boil
When it begins to boil, add the strips of dough in small batches, stirring constantly, until all the strips are in the milk
Bring to the boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the strips are cooked and a fairly thick, milky porridge has formed
Spoon into soup bowls and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
Enjoy!

 

 

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