Shakin’ my bobotie!

In Recipes on March 2, 2014 at 8:08 am

Bobotie is a dish that originated in the Cape Malay community in what is now Capetown in South Africa.  The Cape Malay community was originally composed of Javanese or modern day Indonesian slaves who spoke Malayu, hence the name Cape Malay.  The community began in the 1600s as an outpost of the Dutch East India Company.  The original inhabitants were later followed by large numbers of Indian slaves.  They also intermarried with other slaves from South East Asia, Madagasgar and native African groups.  Bobotie is based on an Indonesian dish made with meat and eggs before being baked in a water bath.  Later, probably due to the Indian influences, curry powder and chutney were added.  Bobotie has been popular in South Africa since the 17th century and it is a dish that is still commonly found on South African tables today.  My friend, Fionna is originally from South Africa.  She sourced this recipe from an elderly South African relative who still lives in the country.  Recently she cooked it for myself and some other friends.  The result was delicious.



Yummy bobotie


2 large onions (finely chopped)

25 ml sunflower oil

3 tsp curry powder

knob of fresh ginger (peeled and finely chopped)

2 large cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

a handful of chopped dried apricots

1 kg minced beef

2 thick slices bread (soaked in milk)

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbs apricot jam

125 ml fruit chutney

juice of 1 lemon (you can also add the finely grated zest)

3 -4 fresh bay leaves

20 ml tomato puree


2 free range eggs

250 ml milk

pinch sea salt


Fry onions in the oil until translucent, add curry powder, dried herbs, cumin, ginger, garlic and turmeric.  Fry until fragrant.  Add the meat, soaked bread (roughly torn) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Fry for 10 mins. or until the meat is lightly browned.  Add the chutney, apricot jam, lemon juice and tomato puree.  Simmer until all ingredients are well amalgamated (about 10-15 mins.)  Spoon into a large baking dish.  Top with the bay leaves.  Whisk the eggs, milk and salt for the topping.  Pour over the meat mixture.  Bake at 180ºC for 30 mins.


We used Halal beef mince which is vastly superior to any mince you will find in the supermarket


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