The cuisine of South Africa is sometimes called “rainbow cuisine”, as it has had a variety of multicultural sources and stages Here are a few that we make here in South Africa, but can also be found in other countries.
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.
Serve it with yellow rice
- 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.
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