Friday, June 4, 2010

South African Recipe: Bobotie


One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new foods.  Bobotie is a recipe I have every time I travel to South Africa.  I just love it!  Bobotie has a slightly sweet taste with a light curry flavor and an egg topping.  In 1954, Bobotie was declared the National Dish of South Africa by the United Nations Women's Organization.

Everywhere I travel, I try to purchase a cookbook with the local recipes in them.  Then I can relive the trip through the smells and tastes of their dishes.  The Bobotie recipe I am sharing, did not come from a cookbook but from a friend who was kind enough to prepare the dish for us then give me her family recipe. 

This recipe has more ingredients than I typically use, but it is still simple and easy to make.


Bobotie

1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef                    
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
6 slices white bread, soaked in milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Topping

2 eggs, beaten
pinch of salt
4 bay leaves 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large skillet, saute onion in vegetable oil over medium high heat until softened.  Add ground beef.  Cook until browned.  Add garlic, turmeric, curry powder (add a little at a time, tasting as you go, until you achieve the desired flavor), and salt to taste. Add bread, lemon juice, and brown sugar.  Mix well.  Cook until heated through.  Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish. In small bowl, beat together egg and pinch of salt.  Pour over top of meat mixture.  Arrange bay leaves on top. Bake 10 minutes or until the egg is set and top is slightly browned.

On Tuesday, I will post more pictures from my trip to South Africa.


32 comments:

  1. Aha, one of my favourites that I make quite often. It is delicious as I know from experience. Diane

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  2. Oh I've never heard of this before -great to know!

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  3. I also like trying new things- I am fortunate to have a brother-in-law who works for the W.H.O. and travels all over the world, so he brings me back cookbooks, and I got one from Africa. I will have to read up on this dish I would love to try it!

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  4. This sounds really good and that is a unique topping. I do the same, with the traveling and buying regional cookbooks.

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  5. Diane, If I remember correctly, you have been to South Africa several times. What is your favorite place or thing about South Africa?

    Simply Life, give this dish a try. I think you will like it!

    Chef E, you are a lucky girl! That is a good brother-in-law to have!

    Pam, I knew you and I had a lot in common!

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  6. This looks so yummy! Since Football WM is just round the corner, I might give it a try soon!
    Thanks!

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  7. Wow, looks delicious! Nice to know South African dish, thanks for sharing! Have a nice weekend ahead of you!

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  8. Thanks Lani! I hope you have a nice weekend too!

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  9. instead of using veggy oil for things, is it ok to use olive oil? I'm not a fan of how veggy oil tastes...

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  10. Good question Christa! The lady who gave me the recipe said she sometimes uses olive oil or butter in place of the vegetable oil.

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  11. Nothing like American meatloaf...I've had it a few times...I really like it! Yours looks great!

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  12. Your right Bo, good old meatloaf can't be beat! Where did you have Bobotie?

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  13. Actually a friend of mine from Germany makes it...I'm not really sure where she learned the recipe.

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  14. Thanks for the reply Bo! It is nice to have friends that like to cook for you.

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  15. This looks delicious Linda! My mouth begins to water at the sight of it! Yummy!

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  16. Hi Linda,I moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when I was 9 with my parents. 25 years later I was a offered a job in S.A. which I could not refuse, so I moved to Johannesburg (which I do not like, big city and lots of crime). I then met Nigel, and ended up living in Bophuhatswana which is now non existent, it is part of S.A. We then moved back to the suburbs of Jhb which again was not perfect. The country is magnificent, Cape town is beautiful, the wild animals.... My love though will always be with Rhodesia (not Zimbabwe as it is today!). It is God's own country (or was) perfect weather, lovely people and great outdoors. I could write for ever about it but.......... After 50 years in Africa our return to the UK in was difficult, but Nigel's ageing parents had a lot to do with it. If you have time take a look at http://www.great1953trek.nidi.org.uk/ Diane

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  17. What an interesting, yummy dish! So awesome that you got the authentic, passed-down version. Those are the best. Looking forward to more pics of your trip! (*lucky!*)

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  18. Diane, I agree with you, Johannesburg can be a scary place. We spent a week in the city and barely escaped being jumped by a gang of men. We ducked inside the gate of the India Embassy before they could attack us. The looks on their faces as they stared at us through the fence can still give me nightmares! We mainly visit the Cape Town area.

    Me, Myself and Pie, I love to collect recipes where ever I go.

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  19. This dish is proof that comfort food crosses all borders! Looks so very good.

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  20. Thanks Abby! It doesn't matter what country you are in, comfort food is always popular.

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  21. You have to like that recipe for the name, if nothing else. It's just fun to say!

    But that looks very good, actually quite American if you hadn't told me it was South African.

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  22. Your right Chris, it is fun to say! The pictures do look like a casserole you would have at a potluck here at home.

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  23. Linda
    This is so interesting; I know nothing about south african cuisine and I am so surprised to find brown sugar in this dish. Sounds delicious and exotic as well.

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  24. This is the first time i heard of this dish and looks delicious! Gotta try!

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  25. The best recipes come from friends and not cookbooks. It's exciting to find recipes from different cultures and this bobotie sounds fantastic!
    Magda

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  26. Hi Taste of Beirut! Brown sugar is a different ingredient to use in a meat dish. I have had Bobotie when they added too much brown sugar and it was too sweet.

    Faithy, the Baker, I think you would really like Bobotie!

    Magda, I love getting recipes from friends! It is a great way to stay connected.

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  27. Wow this sounds good! I still have a zillion pounds of ground beef in my freezer, so this is going on the list!

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  28. Pam, I am always looking for new ground beef recipes and with the zillion pounds of it in your frig, I am going to keep an eye on your blog for new recipes!

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  30. How much does this recipe make? I'm making it for 10 people,and I want to know how I need to adjust the ingredients.

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