Traditional Melkkos

The word melkkos directly translates to milk food. It may be so named as it probably evolved from the Malay dish Boeber, that is traditionally eaten to break the fast at the end of Ramadan. It is comforting and nourishes body and soul. It is an emotive food, it is warming and completely satisfying.

I make melkkos with “snyseltjies” which resembles Tagliatelle pasta. A simple dough from eggs and flour is rolled out thinly, cut by hand into strips no wider than half a centimetre and boiled in cinnamon flavoured milk. Served with sugar and extra cinnamon, this is my idea of winter pampering on a plate!

This recipe feeds six hungry people.

4 eggs

5ml salt

750ml cake flour

2 – 3 litres milk

2 cinnamon quills

ground cinnamon and sugar, to serve

Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the salt and give it a good whisk.

Add the flour to the eggs and mix together to form a kneadable dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 -3 minutes. You want a soft, smooth dough.

Shape into a disk, cover in plastic wrap and put aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Pour two litres of milk into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, add the cinnamon quills and place on high heat. You want to bring the milk to boiling point …. do not leave it!

Dust a working surface and roll the dough to a 3 -5 mm thickness.

Cut into strips not wider than 0,5cm. Dust the strips with flour so that they do not stick together. Don’t worry about being too liberal with the flour as the extra flour will thicken the milk, adding to the lusciousness of the final dish.

Add all the strips to the boiling milk and give it a light stir with a wooden spoon.

Turn the heat down and simmer the melkkos for twenty minutes until the dough strips have absorbed some of the milk and are beautifully fat and puffed up.

Serve steaming portions with extra milk, sugar and ground cinnamon.

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