This wonderful dish of spiced meat baked in the oven until its egg-custard top is golden and blistered is one of my favourite comfort dishes. Bobotie is a traditional South African dish that’s prepared with beef or lamb, flavoured with warming spices and herbs and topped with an egg and milk topping then baked in the oven. Dating way back to its debut in a Dutch cookbook in 1609, Bobotie was created from the culinary traditions that were brought over from the Malayans and it’s name is derived form the Indonesian word ‘bobotok’, a traditional dish made with meat, spices and coconut milk.
Typically served alongside yellow rice studded with dried fruit, some sort of green vegetable and a sambal or chutney and nuts, this dish is still very prominent in South Africa today and a great represent of the wonderful spices used in South African cuisine.
In my version, I use sultanas rather than raisins as I feel raisins are a bit too sweet. I serve it alongside Turmeric-spiced yellow rice, green peas, a nice chutney and garnish with cashews and almonds. A true taste of Africa and truly one of the most comforting, delicious dinners!
Spices used in this recipe
Turmeric Powder (Alleppey)
Indian turmeric from the Alleppey region is reputed for its ability to colour curries, pickles, rice dishes, mustards, drinks & sweet dishes a with a dark yellow-ochre . It has a distinctive fragrant and an earthy mildly bitter taste. Even though there are two types most commonly used; Alleppey and Madras, Alleppey turmeric is the best variety to use in cooking when the true flavour of fresh turmeric is desired . It has been used in Asia, first as a dyestuff and later as par of Ayurvedic medicine due to its high levels of curcumin. for more information see below$6.95
Celery Salt Seasoning – Mild
Seasoned salts have become a popular and healthier alternative way to season all manner of dishes. Our blend has celery seeds, sea salt, thyme, sage, oregano, onion, garlic and pepper. They add a tasty flavour without being spicy or dominating the dish. The use of celery salt seasoning means less salt is needed to bring out the flavour of the dish.$3.45
Bay Leaves Dried Whole
Bay leaves are oval-shaped leaves from the Bay Laurel tree. They have a warm and pungent aroma with an aromatic and slightly bitter flavour. They are used in a wide variety of cuisines from around the world, from European to Indian and everything in between. They an essential herb in Bouquet garni along with thyme, marjoram and parsley. There are two culinary types of bay leaves; Turkish and Californian. The Turkish has a more subtle flavour than the Californian variety and is more commonly grown and used in Australia. Only one or two leaves are needed to enhance a whole roast, pot of soup or stew. Dried leaves are less bitter than fresh & have a sharp pungent aroma.$3.45
Curry Madras – Mild
Our Madras Curry blend is a classic and unique powdered blend of a variety of herbs and spices that balances mild heat with intense flavour. This flavourful dish is inspired by the Madras region of India, characterised by its yellow colour and rich, earthy and pungent flavour. It is typically used in dishes like curried sausages were a mild curry flavour is required. It is also popular to add a teaspoon to soups and stews instead of vegetable stocks. It is common to combine madras spice mix with yogurt, coconut or tomatoes and onions to give a thick rich texture to this curry. The mild flavour of this curry make it suitable for all the family.$3.45
Mixed Herbs – Mild
Mixed herbs is a common and popular spice blend used in all manner of dishes. The traditional mix is comprised of only sage, marjoram and thyme. We have added basil and rosemary to make a modern blend. It has a great, fresh and delicate flavour and floral aroma. It is a convenient way to add a complex array flavours to a dish.$3.45
Remove any crust and soak bread in a small amount of the milk- Mash and set aside.
Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C
Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic, when the onions are soft , add the curry powder, vinegar, chutney and apricot jam or fruit.
Next add the mince and saute till the meat is no longer pink. Add the salt and taste to see if any further salt is needed. Then add the currants/sultanas and the bread and mix well.
Take the meat off the heat and add 1 beaten egg to the mince.
Put the mince mixture into an oven dish aproximatley 30 by 20 cm deep dish. Place this dish in a larger tray with about 1 inch of water. Place the meat and water dish in the oven for 20 min.
In a separate bowl beat the remiang 2 eggs with the left over milk and add the bay leaves and cashews or other nuts.
Remove the meat from the oven and pour over the custard mixture. Return to the oven for a further 30 min or until the custard is set- being careful to make sure there is still some water in the dish so the meat doesnt dry out.
Serve with yellow colored rice – (add a 1/4 tsp of turmeric to the rice before cooking.)
When the rice is cooked add some frozen peas and serve with condiments like fruit chutney etc