Mandy Hedderwick from South Africa shows how to make bobotie.
Mandy Hedderwick was born and raised in South Africa, but came to New Zealand with her three small children on holiday in 2004 while her husband was working on a contract here.Although she didn't want to leave Cape Town, she loved New Zealand and hasn't left since.
Since then, her mother and other members of her family have also come to New Zealand.
Bobotie, a spicy but not hot mince dish with an egg and milk topping, is a traditional South African dish that dates back to the early days of Dutch settlement.
In those days Cape Town was a staging post on the long sea route from the Netherlands to the Spice Islands so it's not surprising to find it's influenced by Indonesian spices.
These days it's such a favourite everyday dish that you can smell it cooking as you walk round parts of Cape Town, she said.
2 thick slices of white bread, crusts removed
250ml full cream milk
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
5 tsp mild and spicy curry powder
1 Tbsp smooth apricot jam
1 kg minced mutton or other meat
salt and pepper to taste
Half tsp turmeric
1 egg (size 7), beaten
50g (half cup) chopped or flaked almonds
grated zest and juice of a medium-sized lemon
50g sultanas or raisins
3 eggs (size 7)
milk, enough to make 375ml (one and a half cups) with the reserved soaking milk
salt and pepper to taste
a good pinch of nutmeg
6 fresh orange or lemon leaves (bay leaves will do - fresh is best, dry is fine)
50g whole almonds, bruised.
Heat oven to 160degC.
Put the bread to soak in the milk.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and add oil.
Add the chopped onions and cook until soft but not browned.
Stir in the curry powder and cook for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the jam until well-mixed.
Add the mince and mix well.
Remove from heat.
Remove the bread from the milk and squeeze to get as much milk out as possible, but reserve the milk for the custard.
Break the bread into small pieces and spread over the meat.
Add the turmeric, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest, the lightly beaten egg, sultanas or raisins, and the flaked or chopped almonds.
Spread the mixture in an oven-proof dish.
Roll up the fresh leaves and insert into the mixture at regular intervals or press in the dried leaves.
Press the bruised almonds into the mix, also at regular intervals.
Bake for 15 minutes while preparing the custard.
To make the custard, add more milk to the reserved soaking milk to bring it to 375ml.
Add eggs and seasoning and whisk until well mixed.
After 15 minutes, remove the mince from the oven.
Poke with a fork and pour the custard over evenly, allowing it to soak into the meat.
Return to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until the custard is set.
Serve with yellow rice, salad, sliced banana or shaved coconut and chutney. (To make yellow rice, add tsp turmeric to the cooking water.)
- Mutton is traditional, but lamb, pork or beef are often
used for bobotie instead.
- South Africans like slightly sweet meat dishes so often add fruit, jam or chutney to their dishes. Mandy recommends Mrs Ball's chutneys, which come from South Africa.
- This dish is spicy but mild as the curry powder Mandy uses is not hot. Like many spicy dishes, bobotie tastes better the next day.
- The bread in the mixture keeps it moist when you reheat it.
- Bruising the almonds allows them to release their oils. To bruise them, hit them with a mallet or rolling pin.
- To test if the custard is set, press gently with a fork. If not set, it will seep over the top.
- Choose a barely ripe banana, greenish at the ends, to serve with the bobotie as its tarter flavour goes well with the meat.
Thanks to Afife Harris and Havoc Pork.