I know I’ve said it before with other meals, but this is definitely one of my all-time favorite recipes. I love African Bobotie. It’s that simple. Traditionally made with beef or mutton combined with fruit, cooked in a mixture of mild curry spices, smothered in a milk/egg custard sauce and baked. Sounds good? Well, put like that, probably not, but it is divine! Try this African Bobotie recipe, I promise, you’ll see what I mean.
I don’t use garlic, and instead of using chopped dried apricots, I use apricot jam. I don’t always add the nuts, it depends if I have them, but they do add an interesting crunch to the texture. The addition of a fruity chutney and the raisins brings the sweetness while the lemon juice, curry powder, turmeric and bay leaves balance with savory. Too sweet or too spicy, and the delicate balance is upset. Lamb or mutton changes the flavor, obviously. I prefer to stick with beef mince. By making up a large amount, there are almost always leftovers and even better is to cook it in two smaller dishes, so one can be frozen for reheating another day.
The yellow rice is normal plain rice cooked in water according to the directions on the packet, but with a couple of teaspoons of turmeric added for color and a mild flavor. Raisins can also be added towards the end of cooking, but they may all end up a bit too sweet. See what works for you in this African Bobotie.
Delicious Traditional South African BobotiePrint Recipe
- 1 kilogram minced beef or mutton
- 1 large onion
- 125 milliliter seedless raisins (optional)
- 125 milliliter blanched almonds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon fruit chutney
- 1 slice white bread, crusts removed
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 3 large eggs
- 250 milliliter milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2-3 bay leaves
- salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Place the butter/oil into a heated saucepan and saute the onion until translucent over medium heat. Add the curry powder and turmeric and fry until spices are cooked – a couple of minutes.
3. While the onion is frying, soak the bread in half the milk. Squeeze out the milk and add the bread to the mince.
4. Add the mince and bread to the pan and brown. Add the raisins (if using), almonds (if using), apricot jam, fruit chutney and lemon juice. Fry for a further few minutes, stirring to combine.
5. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
6. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof casserole dish. Beat the eggs and the rest of the milk together and pour over the meat.
7. Poke the bay leaves into the meat mixture at intervals so the flavor will cook through the meat.
8. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes when the egg/milk topping should be set.
9. Serve hot with yellow rice and steamed veggies. (To cook yellow rice: follow cooking instructions on rice packet, but add 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric to cooking water. Once cooked, place rice into a colander and rinse under running water to remove excess turmeric and starch).