The pronunciation of this South African popular casserole is as interesting as the meal itself. Depending on where you come from, bobotie recipe will have a slightly different pronunciation. The English and the Americans will pronounce it buh-buh-tee while South Africans will pronounce it bow-bow-tee. Nevertheless, this meaty and spicy dish is a great addition to your favorite treats during holidays or whenever you feel like having it.
For your information, bobotie is not just a usual dish out there, it is worth a spot in your recipes menu. This is because it was featured in Augusta National Champions Dinner in 2009. This was after the reigning South African golf champion Trevor Immelman got the honor of hosting the gathering. Also, in 2014, bobotie was featured in Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, an annual event, held in Walt Disney World, Bay Lake, Florida.
What Is Bobotie?
Summarily, bobotie is a simple and nutritious dish full of mouthwatering flavors. It is readily available in many South African eateries and a common dish in most South African homes. The common ingredients in an easy bobotie recipe are minced beef or lamb, an assortment of dried fruits, curry powder, assorted spices, nuts, and bread.
The bobotie mixture prepared as per the instructions on the recipe is then poured into a baking dish. After that, a layer of milk and eggs mixture is then nicely poured on top. Nuts are also sprinkled at this point after which the mixture is baked until set and golden brown in color.
Where Did Bobotie Originally Come From?
In ancient Rome, a dish similar to bobotie, Patinam ex lacte, was in existence. It was documented by Apicius, an ancient Roman writer. The dish had layers of meat, celery seeds, pine nuts, asafoetida and seasoned with pepper. After these layers were well cooked and the flavors had blended to satisfaction, a mixture of milk and eggs was then added. Cooking continues until the egg and milk mixture had settled.
The first bobotie recipe dates back in the 17th century and it’s maiden appearance was in 1609 in a Dutch cookbook. However, it was from the Dutch, and Asians from Indonesia and Malaysia who settled in South Africa during the colonial period that bobotie recipe got it’s roots in South Africa. The Cape Malay community continued to prepare the dish and teach the generations after them. From there it has spread to other parts of Africa and the world like Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Argentina.
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Where Does The Word Bobotie Come From?
A lot has been said regarding the origin of the word bobotie. Some people say it came from the Indonesian botok or bobotok, a dish made of coconut meat mixed with spices, vegetables and fish and then steamed in banana leaves. Others say it was derived from boemboe a Malayan word which means curry spices.
What Is The National Dish Of South Africa?
Indigenous cookery in South Africa and Africa at large was characterized by use of wild plants and wild game. Women gathered fruits, leaves, nuts, and bulbs while men went out to hunt. Major meals eaten by South Africans during the precolonial period included cooked millet, sorghum, stewed or roasted meat and fermented milk.
Years later, after the settlers and colonialists entered South Africa, a lot changed and so did their culture and cookery. Bobotie which was introduced during the colonial period has gained favor and popularity to become South Africa’s national dish.
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What Do You Serve With Bobotie?
Normally, bobotie is served with yellow rice. This is typically rice spiced with tumeric giving it the distinctive yellow color, and some raisins. Some cinnamon added to the rice gives it that aroma that you will cherish for a long time. Raisins, on the other hand, adds some sweetness and texture.
You can also have a side dish of green vegetables, some slices of a ripe banana and toast coconut. Accompaniments like peas, slices of carrots or roasted butternut can also complete the meal. Alternatively, you can still enjoy your bobotie on its own and still have an experience that will linger. There is a large choice in front of you—meaning you will always keep your menu fresh.
Which Bobotie Recipe From These 10 Food Bloggers Is Your Favorite?
#1. Beef Bobotie by The Spruce Eats
There are many ways of making bobotie and a vast variety of recipes can be found on the net that at times it is difficult to tell which is the most authentic bobotie. Get Recipe Here >>
#2. South African Delicious Bobotie Recipe by Lou’s Kitchen Corner
This South African original is similar to meatloaf, but so much better. A slightly sweet curry flavors ground beef with a milk and egg custard on top. It’s delicious! Get Recipe Here >>
#3. Bobotie (South African Meat Loaf) By Recipes Around The World
It’s basically the best meatloaf ever, curried ground lamb and beef topped with savory egg custard. A little decadent. Totally delicious. Worthy of a special occasion. Get Recipe Here >>
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#4. Bobotie (South African curried mince pie) By Taste
This traditional South African dish incorporates mildly spiced curried mince with a savoury custard topping. Get Recipe Here >>
#5. South African Bobotie with Yellow Rice By Foodie On Board
Bobotie is the iconic dish of South Africa, most commonly served with yellow rice.Well, let’s face it, some ingredients are just not photogenic, and will never convey one’s excitement for a particular dish. Ground beef is one of them. Get Recipe Here >>
#6. Hearty and comforting South African Bobotie By Immaculate Bites
This recipe is basically layers of cooked meat with pine nuts seasoned with pepper, celery seeds, and asafoetida (a herb similar to that of leeks), then added with a top layer of egg and milk mixture. Get Recipe Here >>
#7. Flavorful Bobotie By Caroline’s Cooking
The traditional way of serving bobotie is with some yellow rice, then often with slices of banana and some pickle or chutney on the side. We also added some green beans – other green veggies would also work well for contrast but complementary flavors. Get Recipe Here >>
#8. Vegan Bobotie By Contentedness Cooking
Making the Vegan Bobotie is straightforward as always. Simply dice the mushrooms finely, sauté them, and mix with onion, curry paste, and some herbs. Whisk together your favorite sauce and give over the mushrooms in a casserole dish. Get Recipe Here >>
#9. Bobotie – Traditional Meatloaf Casserole By 196Flavors
This dish Traditional Meatloaf Casserole Bobotie By 196Flavors is very simple to make and is prepared with easy-to-find ingredients. The sweetness of dried fruits, the complex aromas released by the spices and the crispness of almonds give a delicious taste to this colorful dish. Get Recipe Here >>
#10. Delicious Traditional Bobotie By Epicurious
This would be a hot contender for South Africa’s national dish! The recipe was selected for an international recipe book published in 1951 by the United Nations Organization. Get Recipe Here >>
Obviously, there is no excuse whatsoever on why you can not prepare a sumptuous bobotie at home. So, treat yourself and family to an exciting experience with delicious flavors oozing from this ancient dish of all times. Not only is bobotie luscious but healthy too. It has a 100% nutritional value, thanks to all the ingredients. Who says these are all the bobotie recipes available? Guess what, you can cook up your special recipe. However, make sure you share with us. We will love to read your experience.