South African Bobotie with Sambal and Yellow Rice

South African Bobotie
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South Africa’s treasure, often called the national dish, Bobotie has a perfect balance of spice and sweetness. South African Bobotie is a spiced and fruity minced lamb or beef dish baked in the oven with a creamy egg custard topping. We served it with a bowl of turmeric rice and sambals as side dishes. Utterly delicious, this mildly spiced and unusually sweet meat dish is definitely a must-try!

We have never been to South Africa before (but it’s definitely on our list), but we’ve been cooking some of the most popular South African dishes for a while now. Our love for Bobotie specifically started with a spice subscription box, Simply Cook. Yes, about 7 years ago life got the better of me and I found myself not having enough time to plan my meals and had trouble thinking of new meals to savour. So I turned to Simply Cook for inspiration and received my first box of spices, pastes and seasonings to create a bunch of new and exciting meals for the week.

Bobotie was by far my favourite dish. It sounded so out of the ordinary, that I was intrigued – apricots, mincemeat and bread soaked in milk? That just didn’t seem like a combination I’ve ever heard of before.

Since then, I’ve discovered that fruit is an integral part of South African cuisine and is mainly used in savoury dishes. As a lover of pineapple on my pizza, I’ve completely embraced this way of cooking, and up until now can’t resist a good mildly spiced bobotie sweet with raisins and apricots. As for Seb, he didn’t even notice there’s fruit on his plate, but the fact that he had 3 helpings last time I made it tells me everything I need to know.

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What is Bobotie?

Bobotie is a spiced minced meat dish with egg custard topping. Normally made with dried fruit and garnished with sweet chutney and bananas, this is an unusually sweet meat dish for the Western pallet (unusual, but ridiculously delicious).

South African Bobotie

Bobotie was declared the national dish of South Africa by the United Nations Women’s Organisation in 1954.


A Recipe for our Bobotie with Yellow Rice & Sambal:

To Make Bobotie:

Cut the crusts off your bread. Place it in a shallow bowl and pour the milk all over it. Leave the bread to soak.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil on low heat in a large frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Sautee for 8-10 minutes until the onion has softened and just starting to brown.

Add the curry powder, turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, ginger, apricot jam (or mango chutney) and lemon juice. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then spoon the mixture out into a bowl.

Return the pan to the hob, add the lamb mince and cook until brown.

Add the onion mix back to the pan with the lamb alongside the raisins and apricots. Cook for a couple of minutes. Taste and season.

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Spoon half of the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Then cover the surface with apple slices. Sprinkle with almond flakes and top with the other half of the lamb mixture. Leave it to cool slightly, whilst you make the topping.

In a bowl, beat yoghurt and eggs with some salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the meat and add a bay leaf on top.

Place in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. You may want to cover the dish with a large sheet of foil midway through if the bobotie is browning too much.

Make Tomato Sambal:

Mix all the ingredients together and leave for 30 minutes in the fridge, whilst the bobotie cooks.

Make Yellow Rice:

Boil your rice following packet instructions, but add a tsp of turmeric and salt to the pan too.

Serve your bobotie, yellow rice and tomato sambal with some red onion or chakalaka chutney!


For other African continent inspired recipes, have a look at:

Bobotie

South African Bobotie with Sambal & Yellow Rice

South Africa’s famous dish, often called the national dish, Bobotie has a perfect balance of spice and sweetness. South African Bobotie is a spiced and fruity minced lamb or beef dish baked in the oven with a creamy egg custard topping. We served it with a bowl of turmeric rice and sambals as side dishes. Utterly delicious, this mildly spiced and unusually sweet meat dish is definitely a must-try!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine South African
Servings 4 servings
Calories 662 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Bobotie:

  • 1 large slice of bread
  • 60 ml milk
  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder medium
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam or mango chutney
  • 500 g lamb mince lean
  • 25 g dried apricots roughly chopped
  • 25 g raisins or sultanas
  • 25 g flaked almonds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large apple thinly sliced
  • 200 ml yoghurt
  • 2 eggs medium

For the Yellow Rice:

  • 240 g long-grain or basmati rice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt

For Sambal:

  • 200 g cherry tomatoes halved
  • red onion finely chopped
  • 5 g fresh coriander roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar white wine or apple cider

Instructions
 

To Make Bobotie:

  • Cut the crust off your bread. Place it in a shallow bolw and pour the milk all over it. Leave it to soak.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil on low heat in a large frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Sautee for 8-10 minutes until the onion has softened and just starting to brown.
  • Add the curry powder, turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, ginger, apricot jam (or mango chutney) and lemon juice. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then spoon the mixture out into a bowl.
  • Return the pan to the hob, add the lamb mince and cook until brown.
  • Add the onion mix back to the pan with the lamb alongside the raisins and apricots. Cook for a couple of minutes. Taste and season to taste.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Spoon half of the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Then cover the surface with apple slices. Sprinkle with almond flakes and top with the other half of the lamb mixture. Leave it to cool slightly, whilst you make the topping.
  • In a bowl, beat yogurt and eggs with some salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the meat and add a bay leaf on top.
  • Place in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. You may want to cover the dish with a large sheet of foil midway through if the bobotie is browning too much.

Make Sambal:

  • Mix all the ingredients together and leave for 30 minutes in the fridge, whilst the bobotie cooks.

Make Yellow Rice:

  • Boil your rice following packet instructions, but add a tsp of turmeric and salt to the pan too.
  • Serve your bobotie, yellow rice and tomato sambal with some red onion or chakalaka chutney!

Nutrition

Calories: 662kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 40gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 194mgPotassium: 1057mgFiber: 5gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 724IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 6mg
Keyword African Cuisines, African Food, Bobotie, Bobotie Recipe, Bobotie with Apples, Bobotie with Apricots, Bobotie with Sultanas, Fruity Bobotie, Lamb and apricot Recipes, Lamb Bobotie, Lamb Bobotie Recipe, Lamb Recipes, South African Bobotie, South African Bobotie Recipe, South African Food, South African Lamb Bobotie, South African recipes
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