Bobotie dates back to the 17th century when the Dutch set camp in Cape Town, South Africa where they used to journey to and from Indonesia. It is said Bobotie may be originally from Indonesia and adopted by the locals but we will never know.
Today, Bobotie is considered as one of the best national dishes in South Africa and it has since become a special in most menus around the world. Bobotie is made from minced ground beef, seasoned with amazing spices and a creamy delicious topping.
This dish takes approximately one hour to prepare, here are the ingredients you will need for this mouthwatering dish:
Two slices of bread
Two cups of milk
Two tablespoons of oil
Two large onions, chopped
Two teaspoons curry powder
One teaspoon dried herbs (Like: oregano, basil, gharam)
One teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Two garlic cloves, finely chopped
A kg of minced beef
One cup fruit chutney
1 tablespoon apricot jam
Zest and juice of one medium lemon
Three teaspoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Three large eggs
4 bay leaves
You will first start by preheating your oven to temperatures of up to 350°F, while you soak your bread in one of the two cups of milk. Meanwhile in another pan add your cooking oil and once heated, fry your onions and constantly stir until they are soft and start to turn colour.
Next add your minced meat and continue stirring to ensure the big chunks break apart and immediately add the curry powder, mixed/dried herbs, cumin, turmeric and garlic. Continue stirring for the next five minutes until the garlic turns golden, your spices fill the room and the beef browns.
Once ready, turn of the heat and add in the fruit chutney, apricot jam, all the lemon zest, the lemon juice, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and stir your mixture. Ensure everything is properly mixed and blended in. The taste should be savoury at this point.
Remember the slices of bread you had soaked at the beginning? Now squeeze out all the milk then tear the bread into small pieces and add it to the beef mixture and stir so it can be evenly distributed. Next spread your beef mixture into an oven dish, press it down and smoothen the top.
Lastly, beat your eggs and add the second cup of milk, some seasoning to taste. Pour it over your meat mixture and add garnish it with bay leaves on the top. Let it bake at 350°F for 45 minutes until your topping starts to set and turn golden brown.
You can serve this amazing dish with some rice on the side or mashed potatoes. Happy cooking!