Here it is – Bobotie, the mild curry mince dish of Cape Malay Origin

BobotieThis South African dish hales from around the 17th century Cape Malay origins near Cape Town. Mind you it is unique to South Africa and not something you will find in Malaysia -a mild curry dish using beef mince as a base and the soft topping, dried fruit and almonds add wonderful textural elements. Serve on its own with steamed rice or as one of the dishes in a curry spread.  In our household there is always a fight for the last helping.  If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers,bobotie tastes wonderful spread on toast the next day. Every person that has tasted this dish has asked me for the recipe so here it is. This recipe is adapted from Table Talk by John Tovey.

Serves 6-8 (Due to popularity in our family it was only enough for 4 !!!!!)

50g (2 oz) butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2T(30ml) curry powder
1T(15ml) tomato puree
750g mince
100-125 g dried, apricots, soaked overnight in 4T brandy
300mL cream or plain yoghurt thickened with 2 egg yolks and a pinch of nutmeg
50g slivered toasted almonds

  1. Heat the butter and fry off the finely chopped onions with the crushed garlic.
  2. Add the tomato puree, the curry powder and the mince, and cook with a lid on, stirring from time to time, over a medium heat for about 40 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas 5.
  4. Chop the brandy-soaked apricots and fold them, together with the toasted slivered almonds into the meat.
  5. Transfer to a 19cm diameter soufflé casserole dish.
  6. Lash out on a rich egg custard made of 300mL double cream with 2 egg yolks, seasoning generously with freshly ground nutmeg and the merest touch of additional curry powder.
  7. Top the meat mixture with the custard and re-heat in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes till golden brown.
  8. Serve with steamed rice, Mrs Balls Chutney, and sliced banana that has been coated in a little coconut and yoghurt.
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