Have you ever tried Bobotie ?
Bobotie is a South African dish. To be correct it was a Malayan dish that was introduced to South Africa by the Cape Malay and which became a firm favourite by all.
My Aunt Madge,bless her heart, was born in Durban of good Scottish stock, and once on a visit to the UK invited us for a real South African meal that she would prepare for us.
I suppose the Scots blood made her thrifty,so she chose something called Bobotie,which was a bit like Cottage Pie without potatoes. It tasted pretty good to me so I asked her for the Recipe.
A while later back in Switzerland I asked my South African friend Shirley to dinner with her husband.
Now Shirley was a Domestic Science Teacher, and although she could never catch up with the housework she could sew wonderfully and she certainly could cook. In fact having to invite them for a meal always sent me into a mild state of panic and as you can imagine something that I had prepared many times before never tasted or looked like it should.
This time nothing could go wrong and she would be so surprised with the Bobotie.
It looked alright,and it tasted just like Aunt Madges, only Shirley didn’t seem to be enraptured by my efforst in fact after politely finishing it all she said “Mmm, that was something different, what was it?”
Years later I visited one of Madges’ sons in South Africa and the story came up of how a fellow South African didn’t recognise his mothers Bobotie. “I don’t wonder at it” he said , “my mother never cooked in her life.
So if you would like to try it, this recipe is the one that Shirley gave me. And I can assure you it’s very good.
Cape Malay Bobotie.
1/2 Kilo of minced (ground) meat. Beef or Lamb
1 Thick slice of white bread
500 ml of milk
2 Medium Onions
2 Small Eggs
50 gr.of Butter
1 Tablsp. of Curry Powder
1 level Teasp. of Salt
2 Tablsp. of Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 Tablsp. of Apricot Jam (Sugar will do to)
1 Teasp. of Turmeric (yellow root) if you have it
2 Bay or Lemon Leaves
1 Tablsp. of Fruit Chutney
75gr. of Seedless Raisins
75gr. of Blanched Almonds
Soak bread in milk.
Fry chopped onions in butter.
Squeeze bread dry but keep milk
Mix bread with meat and fry lightly,add onions. Mix all other ingredients except remaining milk, eggs, and bay leaves, with meat.
Turn into a greased deep pie dish or casserole.
Beat eggs and milk drained from bread, season with a little salt and pepper. Pour over meat in dish Garnish with leaves .
Place dish in another pan containing water and bake at 18o° C or 4 Gas for about 30 minutes or until custard on top is set and lightly browned.
If liked dried peaches or apricots can be added to it,or served with it. Dessicated Coconut is also nice sprinkled over the top.
This Recipe serves 4. It is best eaten with boiled rice.