Monday, 27 May 2013

South African Bobotie.

I only discovered South African cuisine two years ago by stumbling upon a recipe by a very famous chef who is coincidentally is not South African.   My favourite cookbook of all time, Nigella Lawson's Kitchen, had a recipe for South African drumsticks which used apricot jam as part of the marinade. I was intrigued as I never heard of apricot jam being used in a savoury dish before, especially to marinade a meat. Having made the African drumsticks, I can boldly state that African drumsticks and the use of apricot jam was delicious and I have made them several times after. I will be shortly posting the recipe for the drumsticks in the coming weeks.
The reason as to why I have gone about South African drumsticks is I was recently given a copy of Food Glorious Food and I was pleased to see a couple of South African recipes included in the book which both contained apricot jam as part of the ingredients which reminded me of my love for the drumsticks.  The first South African recipe which I thought I would try from Food, Glorious Food cook book is Bobotie and turmeric rice. I've never heard of Bobotie before this book, but having done some research it is a very popular dish in South Africa. I also like the look of turmeric rice, a vibrant yellow colour which complimented the Bobotie. My only suggestion/criticism of this dish is that it is quite involved and probably would make a better weekend meal rather than a week day meal.
Here is how my Bobotie turned out:
Baked Bobotie
I first started by frying the onions and garlic in a pan and adding the seasoning to the mixture alongside the apricot jam.
Fried seasoning
I then added the beef mince to the mixture and let this fry for around 5 minutes. I quickly seasoned the mince in the packet - I made the dish when I changed my mind about making spag bol.
Minced beef quickly seasoned.
Beef frying with seasoning.
I then placed the bread and milk in a bowl and broke the bread up with a fork. I added this to the mince mixture alongside the ground almonds and lemon juice and cooked for a further 10 minutes.

Bread broken up with milk.
I then prepared the topping and mixed together the eggs and milk and poured this over the mince mixture which I placed in a casserole dish. The recipe stated to use Greek yogurt, but as stated previously I tried to make this using store cupboard ingredients so unfortunately did not have this. I placed this in the oven for 30 minutes until baked.
Eggs and milk
Bobotie pre bake
After 30 minutes the bobotie was baked and ready to serve with the turmeric rice.
Bobotie baked

Ingredients for South African Bobotie - serves 5-6
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cinnamon
2ts granulated sugar
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of nutmeg
2tbsp smooth apricot jam
2tbsp of any other fruit chutney
1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
500g minced beef
2 slices white bread
4 tbp milk
juice of half a lemon
50g ground almonds.

For the turmeric rice
500ml water
250 g basmati rice, washed
75g raisins
1tsp ground cinamon
25g butter.

Preheat the oven to 18-C/350F/Gas mark 4
Heat the oil in large saucepan and fry the onions and garlic until almost caramelised, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, garam marsala, turmeric, cinnamon, sugar, chilli powder, nutmeg, bay leaves, apricot jam, chutney, apple, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the head and add the mince stirring well to coat.
Put the bread and milk in a bowl, then break up the bread with a fork. Add the mixture to the mince and mix together. Stir in the lemon juice and ground almonds. Return to a medium heat and stir until heated through. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly for 10 minutes, or until the meat is cooked Taste for seasoning and ajust if necessary. Transfer to a casserole dish.
To prepare the topping, mix together the eggs, yoghurt, milk, salt and pepper, then pour over the curried mince in the casserole dish. Put the bay leaves on top for decoraton and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Bring the water to the boil with the salt and turmeric, then add the rice and stir once to seperate the grains. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to its lowest settinf and cook for 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, then add the raisings, cinnamon and butter, stirring them through with a fork.


  1. This look really,really delicious!

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