South African Bobotie Recipe


Bobotie (Afrikaans: [bəˈbuəti]) is a well-known South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.

Origin of name and recipe

Bobotie appears to be a variant of Patinam ex lacte, a dish documented by the ancient Roman writer Apicius, with layers of cooked meat, pine nuts, seasoned with pepper, celery seeds and asafoetida. These were cooked until the flavours had blended when a top layer of egg and milk was added. When the latter had set, the dish was ready to be served.  C. Louis Leipoldt, a South African writer and gourmet, wrote that the recipe was known in Europe in the seventeenth century.

The origin of the word bobotie is contentious. The Afrikaans etymological dictionary claims that the probable origin is the Malayan word boemboe, meaning curry spices.  Others think it to have originated from bobotok, an Indonesian dish which consisted of totally different ingredients.  The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609.[verification needed] Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community.  It is also made with curry powder, leaving it with a slight “tang”.[8] It is often served with sambal.  The dish has been known in the Cape of Good Hope since the 17th century when it was made with a mixture of mutton and pork.

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