Bobotie

April20

Many of our good friends are realizing that there is no time like right now to go on traveling adventures; offspring are old enough to fend for themselves or have flown the coop entirely as is the case with D and me. Some of our circle are even more daring than us and leave the comforts of home and volunteer in far off places like South Africa. Such was the case with the particular friends that invited us to dine with them recently. On the drive over, I had commented to D that I hoped that they were cooking something from their travels, as they said that dinner was all planned and we could not contribute a thing. The aroma wafting from the kitchen as we were greeted at the door led us to excitedly inquire what was for dinner.

I had to look up “bobotie” on Wikipedia as Boo and the Frenchman who spent three months in South Africa were not available to ask. They happen to be preapring for an imminent month long vacation to Greece. I found out that Bobotie (pronounced /bəˈbʊəti/ or /bəˈbti/), also spelt bobotjie, is actually the national dish of South African. Simply stated, the dish consists of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. It is thought to have originated from the Indonesian dish bobotok. Colonists from the Dutch East India Company colonies probably introduced bobotie to South Africa previous to 1609 which is when the first recipe appeared in a Dutch cookbook. Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community.

Today Bobotie is typically made with beef or lamb. Early recipes incorporated ginger, marjoram and lemon rind; the introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe somewhat but the basic concept remains the same. Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavours that can add complexity. For example, the dried fruit (in this case raisins) contrasts the curry flavouring. The texture of the dish is also complex, with the baked egg mixture topping complementing the milk-soaked bread which adds moisture to the dish.

bobotie1

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bobotie
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: South African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: serves 8
 
Resembles mousakka to me.
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf thick sliced bread (white or brown)
  • 375 ml (1½ c) milk
  • 25 ml oil
  • 10 ml butter
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 25 ml curry powder
  • 10 ml salt
  • 25 ml chutney
  • 15 ml smooth apricot jam
  • 15 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 ml turmeric
  • 25 ml brown vinegar
  • 1 kg raw mince
  • 100 ml sultanas
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch salt and curry
  • bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Soak bread in milk. Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic. When onions are soft add curry powder, salt chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix well. (Janine also adds cumin and ginger
  2. Drain and mash bread and reserve milk for later.
  3. Add bread to pan together with mince and sultanas.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring, and when meat loses its pinkness remove from stove.
  5. Add 1 beaten egg, mix well., then spoon into a greased, 8 x 11 and level the top.
  6. Beat remaining eggs with reserved milk (you should have 300 ml) and salt and curry.
  7. Pour over meat mixture and put a few bay leaves on top.
  8. Stand dish in a larger pan of water (this is NB to prevent drying out) and bake uncovered 350 for 1 hour or until set.
  9. Serve with rice, coconut, nuts and bananas.

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Doesn’t bobotie look like dessert when garnished with almonds, bananas and coconut?

Our hosts also served the savoury dish with crusty bread and a crunchy salad. The meal was simple, yet tasted soooo extravagrant. We had an absolutely delightful evening and now I predict that bobotie will become one of our families’ favourites. After I find out what “raw mince” is…..

Kath’s quote: My Ouma (my Dad’s Mom) was Afrikaans; a proper boerevrou. I remember her working in the farm dairy, churning the butter, or outside making her soap in the giant sized potjie (which is now a flower container at my sister Iona’s house in England). No-one could roll apricot smeer, make koeksusters or cook bobotie like Ouma could! -Judy Croome

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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posted under Entrees, Food & Travel
4 Comments to

“Bobotie”

  1. Avatar June 28th, 2015 at 1:15 am Judy Croome Says:

    Kathryne, my late Ouma would have been thrilled knowing her bobotie is mentioned on a food blog in Canada! :) Another interesting tidbit about Bobotie is that when South African golfer Trevor Immelman won the US Open in 2008, he selected bobotie as the featured menu item for Augusta National’s annual “Champions Dinner” in April 2009!

    Judy Croome, South Africa


  2. Avatar June 29th, 2015 at 11:07 am Kathryne Says:

    Fascinating-thank you so much. Any more of your Ouma’s recipes that you would be willing to share in this space?


  3. Avatar February 13th, 2016 at 3:01 am Judy Croome Says:

    Belated hello Kathryne – it’s been that kind of year! I’ll ask my Mom for some more of my Ouma’s traditional recipes, boerewors and melk tert immediately spring to mind – it’s the perfect dessert for Bobotie! My sister is now the family “melk tert” specialist :)

    All the best
    Judy Croome
    Johannesburg South Africa


  4. Avatar February 13th, 2016 at 3:02 am Judy Croome Says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear – boerwors is a homemade sausage, melk tert is a dessert! :)


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