Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bobotie from South Africa

There are so many cultures involved in South African cuisine. I knew nothing about the complexity and the diversity until I found two South African cookbooks and started cooking. Dutch settlers (the Afrikaners) brought a European influence with Milk Tarts and other delicious baked goods along with an amazing barbeque (braai) with beef and chicken; Malay laborers from Java and Indonesia brought their spices; indigenous Africans added in cornmeal porridge and greens, reminders for us of the soul food of the American south; Indians brought their curries. I love how the colors and flavors intermingle and dance with each other. Bobotie is a classic example.

2 onions, finely chopped
2 pounds ground beef, or a mix of ground meats
1 slice bread
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1½ tablespoons sugar
½ cup raisins
3 tablespoons chutney, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Zest of 1 lemon, see photos if you need them
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 egg

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
2. Sauté beef or meat mix with onions until meat is brown, breaking the meat up into small pieces. If necessary, drain fat from the pan and discard.
3. Soak the bread in half the milk; mash it with a fork. Add it to the meat.
4. Combine all the remaining ingredients except the egg and the remaining milk. Spread the mixture in a greased casserole.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Beat the egg with the remaining ½ cup milk and pour it over the casserole. Return to the oven for another ½ hour.

6 servings
Adapted from The Africa News Cookbook

Here are several lovely dishes to go along with your Bobotie:

Braised Carrots

 Oven-Roasted Zucchini

 Yellow Rice

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