Bobotie is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. Bobotok was an Indonesian dish consisting of meat with a custard topping that was cooked in a pan of water until the egg mixture set. Colonists from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia probably introduced bobotie to South Africa.The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609. Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community. It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight “tang”.
It is a dish of some antiquity: it has certainly been known in the Cape of Good Hope since the 17th century, when it was made with a mixture of mutton and pork. Today it is much more likely to be made with beef or lamb, although pork lends the dish extra moistness. Early recipes incorporated ginger, marjoram and lemon rind; the introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe somewhat but the basic concept remains the same. Some recipes also call for chopped onions to be added to the mixture. Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruit like raisins or sultanas, but the sweetness that they lend is not to everybody’s taste. It is often garnished with walnuts, chutney and bananas.
Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavours that can add complexity. For example, the dried fruit (usually apricots and raisins/sultanas) contrasts the curry flavouring very nicely. The texture of the dish is also complex, with the baked egg mixture topping complementing the milk-soaked bread which adds moisture to the dish.
When it is Summer in South Africa we like to spend the time outside and have a braai!
A South African Braai Culture Tradition:
What makes a braai truly South African are the traditions that have become common practise in a vast majority of households in this beautiful country. It is so much more than just the cooking of food but also the gathering of friends and loved ones. The atmosphere and VIBE of the braai is what makes it such a special event for all South Africans.
“The word braaivleis is Afrikaans for “roasted meat.”
The word braai (pronounced “bry”, rhyming with the word “cry”; plural braais) is Afrikaans for “barbecue” or “roast” and is a social custom in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It originated with the Afrikaner people, but has since been adopted by South Africans of many ethnic backgrounds. The word vleis is Afrikaans for “meat”.
The word has been adopted by English-speaking South Africans and can be regarded as another word for barbecue, in that it serves as a verb when describing how food is cooked and a noun when describing the cooking equipment, such as a grill. The traditions around a braai can be considerably different from a barbecue, however, even if the method of food preparation is very similar. Wikipedia
Christmas dinner is the primary meal traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Christmas dinner around the world may differ and the traditions can reflect the culture of the respective country it is being celebrated in. Turkey is present in a fair number of these meals. We as a family are celebrating Christmas with cold meat and salads, which are more suitable for our hot summer days.
Here is one of my mom’s “traditional” salads she used to make for Christmas.
1 kg small onions 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
1 cup brown vinegar 1 t mustard powder
1 egg, whisked
Peel the onions, taking care to keep them whole.
Boil the onions in salted water for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
For the sauce combine the mustard powder, sugar and vinegar over heat until the sugar is dissolved and then boil for 5 minutes.
Let the mixture cool down add whisked egg into the cooled mixture.
Slowly bring it to a low simmer over low heat while whisking. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the stove immediately, pour over the onions and leave to cool.