Bobotie is traditional meatloaf casserole and one of the most delicious of South Africa recipes.
What is the origin of bobotie?
Bobotie is a recipe that was imported to South Africa from Indonesia in the seventeenth century and was adapted by the Cape Malay community. The community members are descendants of Cape Malay are slaves and political refugees from Indonesia and Malaysia. Until the early nineteenth century, the Cape Colony (like Indonesia) was under Dutch control. The ethnic group now is composed of 200,000 people and is predominantly Muslim.
What is the origin of the word bobotie?
The word bobotie comes from the Indonesian bobotok or botok! Bobotok is a dish made of coconut flesh, vegetables and occasionally meat that is cooked in banana leaf.
How to make the South African bobotie recipe
This dish is now generally prepared with beef or lamb. Curry, ginger, lemon, dried apricots and raisins, almonds or walnuts are all ingredients that make this dish so unique. The bobotie recipe was also exported to a few African countries like Kenya, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
South African bobotie is a meatloaf that is covered with a mixture of milk and egg that forms a custard crust. The dish is traditionally served with basmati rice, but also with chutney or sambal, the Indonesian condiment made of chili peppers.
This dish is very simple to make and is prepared with easy to find ingredients. There was no bobotie leftovers at home. Everyone loved it. I must say that this South African dish is really tasty. The sweetness of dried fruits, the complex aromas released by the spices and the crispness of almonds give a taste of “not enough” to this dish. I had three servings.
- 2 lb ground beef
- 2 onions , diced
- 5 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 lemon , zest and juice
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 inch piece ginger , peeled and grated
- 2 slices bread
- 1½ cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 20 dried apricots , diced
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ bunch parsley , chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
- In a hot skillet, sauté the minced meat without oil for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Put in a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onions over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the lemon zest and its juice with the spices and ginger to make a paste.
- Pour the milk into a separate bowl and soak the bread.
- Add the garlic to the onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the spice mixture and stir.
- Drain the bread and add to the onion and garlic mixture. Set the milk aside as it will be used later.
- Add the meat and stir. Add salt and pepper.
- Add parsley, raisins, dried apricots and almonds. Sauté for a few minutes and turn off the heat.
- In a rectangular pan, pour the meat mixture. Firmly pack the meat with the back of a spoon.
- Beat 4 eggs in the remaining milk. Cover the meatloaf with the eggs and milk mixture.
- Place in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Serve hot with plain or curry-flavored basmati rice.