Thanksgiving Casseroles: South African Bobotie

South African Bobotie

The origin of this popular South African is unknown. Bobotie was most likely influenced by the Malaysian and Dutch cuisine. This creamy meat pie balances a sweet-sour-spicy flavor.

Seasoned with Mango

The spice blend contains dried mango called amchoor. 

Don’t miss the apricot-ginger chutney (see the recipe below).

Apricot Ginger Chutney

Shopping list

1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped or grated
1/4 cup white vinegar
oil, salt
Optional: sugar to taste

Directions

In a small POT, heat 1 tbsp oil.

Fry 1 onion on medium heat until golden. 

Add apricots, ginger, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar + salt to taste.

Cover and cook over low heat for 30-60 min.

The Bobotie Culinary Spice Kit includes the following spices:
[1] Amchoor, coriander, onion, chili, cumin, turmeric, garlic, curry leaves, fenugreek, cilantro leaves, ginger, yellow mustard, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper

[2] Lemon verbena, nutmeg, turmeric

Variations
  • Substitute meat with lentils (see tips).

  • Substitute almonds with other nuts.

  • Add 1/4 cup chopped almonds and/ or 1 oz raisins to the meat or rice.

  • Press 3-4 fresh or dried leaves (bay, curry, or basil) into the topping before baking or add later as garnish.

Vegetarian Bobotie with Lentils

Substitute the meat with 2.5 cups of cooked regular brown lentils.

  • Add the Bobotie [1] spices to the golden onions. Stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add the lentils and 1/2 cup of hot water. Mix well. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Continue with the original instructions.

You have two options for the lentils:

  • The fastest way is to use cooked lentils from a can. 
  • Alternatively, you can use 1.5 cups of dry lentils. Rinse the lentils well. In a POT, add lentils and 5 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally.
South African Bobotie

South African Bobotie

Bobotie is a popular South African dish. It was most likely influenced by the Malaysian and Dutch cuisine. The creamy meatloaf balances a sweet-sour-spicy flavor. Optionally, you can make it as a stir-fry in a pan. The spice blend contains dried mango called amchoor. Don't miss the apricot-ginger chutney.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine South African
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Shopping list

  • 1.5 lbs ground lamb or beef or mixed
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2-5 tsp sugar
  • butter & oil
  • salt & pepper

Suggested Sides

  • Cooked rice, opt. colored with turmeric 
  • Apricot-ginger-chutney (recipe in the blog) 
  • Salad of your choice 
  • Steamed root vegetables 

Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Amchoor, coriander, onion, chili, cumin, turmeric, garlic, curry leaves, fenugreek, cilantro leaves, ginger, yellow mustard, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper
  • Pouch [2] Lemon verbena, nutmeg. turmeric

Instructions
 

Meat

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp butter.
  • Fry onions over medium-low heat until golden.
  • Add meat, salt to taste, and Bobotie [1] spices.
  • Stir-fry meat until it is crumbled and cooked.
  • In a BOWL, whisk 1 egg and mix it with a 1/4 cup of milk.
  • Add this egg-milk, sugar, and almonds to the meat. Mix well.
  • Stir in vinegar and lime juice. Adjust salt.
  • Fill into a non-sticking greased BAKING DISH (8 x 8).

Finishing

  • Preheat the OVEN to 350°F.
  • In a BOWL, whisk 2 eggs.
  • Mix it with 1/2 cup of milk, salt to taste, and Bobotie [2] spices.
  • Pour mixture over the meat.
  • Bake in the OVEN for 30-40 minutes until the topping is no longer liquid and turned slightly brown.

Serve

  • Serve bobotie with rice, and optional chutney and/ or vegetables or salad of your choice.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

▪ Substitute meat with lentils (tips in the blog).
▪ Substitute almonds with other nuts.
▪ Add 1/4 cup chopped almonds and/ or 1 oz raisins to the meat or rice.
▪ Press 3-4 fresh or dried leaves (bay, curry, or basil) into the topping before baking or add later as garnish.
Keyword amchoor, lemon thyme