Today bobotie – spicy mince with a custard topping – is a typical South African dish. According to Wikipedia, the first bobotie was prepared by Apicius, a Roman, some 2 000 years ago. South African writer, C. Louis Leipoldt, wrote that bobotie was known in Europe in the 17th century. Some people think that it originated from an Indonesian dish called bobotok Whatever the origin, we know it as a Cape Malay dish, made with spices and curry.
Last week we had lunch at the Lanzerac Hotel and my choice was the very tasty bobotie, which had a very light and almost fluffy consistency. Served with curried peaches, it was different to the usual heavy bobotie served in restaurants and in my own kitchen.
Today I tried to make a bobotie with the same light consistency and it was very successful. One egg white is the secret to the lighter version of bobtie.
500g lean minced beef
1 large onion, sliced
10 ml hot curry powder (depending on how hot you like your food
10 ml chutney
10 ml apricot jam
Salt and grinded black pepper to taste
5 ml turmeric
5 ml cumin powder
5 ml minced garlic
5 ml tomato paste
2 eggs and the white of one egg
1 slice of bread, soaked in 150 ml milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Heat some oil in a pan, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes. Add the mince and cook until browned. Squeeze out the milk from the bread and add the bread to the mince mixture. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, apricot jam and chutney and cook for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the taste until you are happy. Beat 1 egg white (I proudly use my new Bamix I got for Valentine’s day) until fluffy and stir into the mince mixture with a fork. Place the mixture in an ovenproof container.
Prepare the topping for the bobotie by beating 2 eggs and the yolk of the other egg with 150 ml milk and a pinch of salt until frothy. Pour over the mince mixture. Stick in some bay leaves and bake until the custard has set and browned slightly.
Serve with basmati rice and curried peaches.