Bobotie is a superstar of South African culinary heritage. The original way to make bobotie is on a fire, obviously, because bobotie was a thing long before electricity was a thing. In this natural evolution of an already-perfect dish, we are not deconstructing, but reconstructing all of the elements of bobotie together into a burger braaied to perfection and served with pride.
Ingredients (serves 4)
FOR THE BURGER
- 4 hamburger rolls
- butter or olive oil
- 2 bananas (chopped)
- ½ cup plain yoghurt
- lemon juice
- 4 eggs (sunny side up)
- 2 tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 onion (sliced)
FOR THE PATTIES
- 500 g lean beef mince (or 4 high-quality hamburger patties)
- 1 tot grape vinegar
- 1 tot apricot jam
- 1 tot medium curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Add all of the vinegar, apricot jam, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper together and mix. Now mix this spiced slurry into the mince until there is an equal distribution of spice throughout the mince.
- Convert the bobotie-spiced mince into four equally sized patties. Your two recently washed hands are entirely capable of forming patties from mince but a patty press makes the job even easier.
- Prepare the banana sambal by combining the banana and yoghurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Set aside in your fridge for later.
- Braai the patties in a grid over hot coals aiming for about 10 minutes’ braai time in total and turning about three times in total, so twice to the coals per side. The sugar in the apricot jam, as well as all the spices in the curry that went into the mince, will make these patties more prone to burn than a regular 100% pure-beef patty so we need to braai them over slightly more gentle heat and turn them more often. To avoid the patties getting stuck to the grid, you can use a combination of the following tactics: Use a grid with thicker rods; spray the grid with non-stick spray; gently lay the patties onto the grid so that you’re not squeezing them into the grid; braai over very hot coals so that the patties seal before sinking into the grid; move the patties slightly with your braai tongs or spatula just as they start to braai and seal, so that ever-so-slightly braaied meat (as opposed to completely raw meat) touches the grid. As the meat cooks, it naturally starts loosening from the grid.
- Butter or oil the insides of the cut rolls and toast on the grid, taking care not to over-toast (burn) them.
- During the very final stages of the braai, multitask or get your braai assistant to fry the four eggs sunny side up so that they are just perfectly fried and still warm and soft for the assembly of the burger.
- Assemble the burger: Roll, banana sambal, patty, chutney, tomato, onion, fried egg, roll.
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