Prue’s Bobotie Recipe

Bobotie

I’m South African by birth, and the one dish I remember loving all through my childhood is this. It’s a sort of cross between a shepherd’s pie and moussaka, mildly curried, and is a reflection of South Africa’s history of Dutch and Malaysian influences. It is great for a party – unusual enough to surprise people, but not so exotic as to put off the children. It will sit in a warm oven for hours. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices of white bread
  • 150ml milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3cm (1in) piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 450g lamb mince
  • 1 small dessert apple, grated
  • 75g fruit chutney
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • a handful of sultanas
  • salt and pepper to season
  • For the custard
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 275g Greek yoghurt
  • a handful of flaked almonds
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves or bay leaves

Instructions

I’m South African by birth, and the one dish I remember loving all through my childhood is this. It’s a sort of cross between a shepherd’s pie and moussaka, mildly curried, and is a reflection of South Africa’s history of Dutch and Malaysian influences. It is great for a party – unusual enough to surprise people, but not so exotic as to put off the children. It will sit in a warm oven for hours.

  1. Put the bread into a small tray or shallow bowl and pour over the milk. Leave to soak. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry until soft and just golden. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, coriander and cumin and cook for a further minute or so. Transfer into a large bowl.
  3. Wipe the saucepan clean and pour in the remaining oil. Turn the heat up and fry the lamb mince for 5–6 minutes, until golden brown. Press the meat down with a fish slice to encourage it to brown properly. When the meat is browned on all sides, add it to the spiced onions, along with the apple, chutney, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and sultanas. Add a little water if it looks too thick. Fork the wet bread into the mixture, season and gently combine. Pile the mixture into a 2-litre ovenproof dish and use the back of a wooden spoon to flatten it.
  4. Mix the eggs with the yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper, then pour over the mixture. Scatter with the almonds, then place the kaffir leaves on top and bake for about 40–45 minutes, until the custard topping has set and browned. Remove the bobotie from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 Recipe is taken from ‘Prue, My life on a plate’ published by Bluebird.