Originally uploaded by Reinhilde.

I saw fresh grated coconut at the market – and I suddenly felt the urge to make coco batates (well, that’s what my ex-mother-in-law calls them, she’s Mauritian). It took me quite some time to track down some sweet potatoes – had to go all the way to the health shop to find them, it’s not something you find in the supermarket here…

As I only saw my exMIL make this once or twice more than a decade ago, I had to re-invent the recipe on the fly.

Luckily I have a cookery book all about potatoes – so I found out I could roast them in the oven (200 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes), let them cool and then peel them. Mashed them. Then melted some margerine and added flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and a slosh of milk. Added that to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mixed it with a wooden spoon (one with a hole in, works better). Then came the tricky bit – added flour until it ‘felt’ right. I have the big disadvantage of having very hot hands, so I had to rinse them often with cold water to keep them cold so the dough wouldn’t stick all the time…

It was still rather sticky, so I opted for a glass lid, dusted it with flour, dusted my hands too, took a bit of dough and flattened it in a rough circle, about half a cm thick (that’s one fifth of an inch I think). On top of that I put a soonful of grated coconut and half a spoon cane sugar, folded it, pinched it closed and ‘crimped’ it with a fork. Then fried it in very hot fat (190 degrees celsius) for a few minutes.

Got the girls to do the taste test. No good. Too dry, too floury, not crispy enough :(

I had golden syrup standing by, but wasn’t sure it was needed at first, so now I added a coffeespoon of golden syrup to the coconut and cane sugar. Folded, pinched, crimped, fried – still no good, coconut was still too dry :(

Brainwave! Mixed a few spoonfuls of coconut, cane sugar and golden syrup and made balls of them that I put on the dough. Folding, pinching and crimping was much easier then too. Fried it.

Verdict of the jury? A bit large and the dough a bit thick, but for taste 10/10!


The only problem – I still have enough dough left for at least another 20 coco batates. Maybe I’ll just freeze it in 2 portions and get it out another time…

Rest of the pics in the set of course :)