Bobotie is a South African classic and an important part of our culinary heritage. It’s also one of my favourite meals, but this doesn’t make me special: everybody loves bobotie. As with many other South African cult hits, you can cook it very successfully in a potjie on a braai fire. I believe it’s your moral duty to perfect the art of making bobotie. It’s a great way to show off when you cook for visitors to South Africa. Serves 6.
- 1 tot oil
- 3 onions (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tots medium strength curry powder
- 1/2 tot ground turmeric
- 1 kg beef mince, ostrich mince or venison mince
- 1/2 tot salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup almond flakes
- 1 tot vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 5 bay leaves
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- rice (to serve)
- chutney (to serve)
- Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed potjie over a medium-hot fire and fry the onions and garlic until the onions are soft but not brown.
- Add the curry powder and turmeric, then fry for a minute – the bottom of the potjie will look quite dry, but don’t let the mixture burn.
- Chuck in the mince and fry for about 10 minutes, stirring it to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. The mince should change colour from red to light brown, but shouldn’t turn dark yet. The meat should release some juices – use these juices and your wooden spoon to loosen any sticky bits on the bottom of the potjie.
- Add the salt and pepper, apricot jam, raisins, almond flakes and vinegar/lemon juice. Stir well, bring to a slow simmer and put on the lid. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring once in a while to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.
- Now remove the lid and flatten the mixture with the back of your spoon so that it’s even across the bottom of the potjie. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small mixing bowl, then pour over the bobotie. Stick the bay leaves into the egg mixture. Cover with the lid and put a layer of hot coals on top of the lid. At this stage you only want coals on the lid, not underneath the potjie. Cook for 30 minutes and the bobotie should be ready.
- Serve with rice and chutney on the side.
You might like to serve sliced banana, coconut or chopped tomatoes with the bobotie.
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