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The history of bobotie: South Africa's national dish

The history of bobotie: South Africa's national dish

The bobotie is a typical South African dish conceived under the influence of the Dutch settlers. In gastronomic terms, the use of curry and chutney, the mixture of sweet and savory and the original final decoration made with beaten egg that is baked in the oven stand out. It is also said that this dish originated in Indonesia and that it arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, Africa, in the 17th century. The name comes from the term Bobotok, the Indonesian name for Batavia, today's Jakarta. If you are one of those South Africans who love bobotie, but don't know how to prepare it, don't worry. Here is a quick guide. Have the necessary ingredients at hand and get to work. Go to your nearest supermarket to buy everything you need for the preparation. There are several options you can explore such as Spar, Shoprite, Pick n Pay or Choppies. These chains stand out for their variety of items, good quality and excellent price-product ratio.

How to prepare bobotie


This dish is now usually prepared with beef or lamb. Curry, ginger, lemon, dried apricots and raisins, almonds or walnuts are the ingredients that make this dish so unique. The bobotie recipe was also exported to other African countries such as Kenya, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The bobotie is a meat pie covered with a mixture of milk and egg that forms a creamy crust. The dish is traditionally served with basmati rice, but also with chutney or sambal, an Indonesian condiment made with chilies.

Step 1


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large frying pan put the oil and fry the onion for a few minutes. When transparent, add the meat, kaffir leaves and curry. Fry the meat until browned and add at the last moment the raisins, salt, pepper and lemon juice if we hadn't put kaffir leaf.

Step 2


Turn quickly and pour the contents of the pan into a large bowl. Then add the chutney, the bread crumbs previously soaked in milk and a beaten egg. Mix well with a fork and pour the preparation into a greased baking pan.

Step 3


Beat the two remaining eggs and pour them on top of our meatloaf. Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. The top layer of egg will turn into an omelet and should even brown slightly. You don't need to cook like the gods to prepare this dish, but it is essential that you pay attention to each of the steps so that you don't make mistakes and can surprise your guests at home. Bobotie is a South African classic and you have to honor this traditional dish. Enjoy the process of cooking it and much more to savor it in the company of loved ones.

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