I would like to share a delicious recipe that is unique and traditional to South Africa. This dish consisting of minced meat with an egg-based topping , has a combination of sweet and spicy flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and will certainly intrigue your dinner guests.
The delicate blend of spices used in this dish, create a harmonious aroma in your kitchen and as you slowly simmer these spices, you will be transported into the heart of the vibrant and colorful Cape Malay community.
The Cape Malay community can be found in the Western Cape, South Africa. They are descendants of Indian, Indonesian and Afro-Indo origins and where brought to the Cape of Good Hope as slaves in the 1600’s by the Dutch East India Company.
Handed down from generation to generation, Cape Malay style cuisine is best known for its rich and intense spices and flavors.
Although prevalent to the Western Cape, this style of cuisine is highly regarded throughout South Africa and most families will have their own favorite recipe that is a star feature on the dinner table.
Serves 8 people
1 Thick crustless slice white bread
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Garlic cloves crushed
2 Large finely chopped onions
1Kg Minced Beef
½ Cup Raisins
6 Almonds, flaked
2 Teaspoons smooth apricot jam
½ Cup Fresh Lemon juice
1 Teaspoon Brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Masala Curry powder
½ Teaspoon Turmeric
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
½ Teaspoons Ground cumin
½ Teaspoons Ground coriander seed
½ Teaspoon Clove powder
Freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Soak the bread in the milk.
Heat the Olive oil in a large frying pan on a moderate heat. Add the crushed garlic and chopped onion and simmer, taking care not to burn the garlic as it will leave a bitter taste.
Add the spice mix to the garlic and onions and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes. This allows for the spices to be cooked, releasing more flavor to the dish.
Remove the bread from the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and gently break into small pieces. Keep the milk to one side as it will be for the topping liquid for the final step on the dish.
Mix together the minced meat, bread, raisins, almonds, apricot jam, lemon juice, brown sugar and pinch of salt.
Add to the garlic, onion and spice mix.
Stir using a fork, this helps the minced meat to break into finer pieces and allows it to brown evenly.
Gently simmer over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, until the minced meat is brown.
Add the meat mixture into a greased, medium-sized oven proof dish.
Add the eggs to the milk and whisk together. Pour over the meat mixture, ensuring that it is distributed evenly throughout the entire dish.
Place the bay leaves on top of the dish.
Bake, uncovered at 180 degrees Celsius for 45-50 minutes or until set.
Once done, the Bobotie should be firm and there should be no excess liquid in the dish. To test this, tilt the dish gently to the side, to ensure that the topping liquid has cooked through properly.
Bobotie is best served with yellow rice, fruit chutney, sliced banana, and a mixture of finely chopped onion and tomato, together with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut and a glass of red wine.
Yellow rice is made by cooking your rice as usual and at the boiling stage; a teaspoon of turmeric is added to give it a rich yellow color.
Enjoy this traditional taste of South Africa!