Wednesday, 20 February 2013

South African Bobotie

I tried to describe to my boyfriend exactly what we were having for tea, and the best description I could come up with was shepherd's pie.... but with no potato, more spice, and an egg on it. So, not shepherd's pie at all really, but bear with me.

This is a veggie version of South Africa's national dish, based on my mum's recipe. It's one of those that's sweet and savoury at the same time (think along North African lines) and is traditionally served with Yellow Rice - dead easy, just add a cinnamon stick and a tsp of turmeric to the cooking water of some normal basmati rice, then add a handful of sultanas when cooked.

The tomato's just there because it was starting to turn a bit and needed eating rather than any culinary reason.

Serves 4! ... Or 2 greedy people with leftovers for packed lunch next day - careful if reheating rice though, doesn't do your belly any good if not properly hot.

What you need

250-300g veggie mince (quorn, TVP etc.)
1 chopped onion
1 tbsp mango chutney
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 whole cloves
a few gratings of nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
3 tbsp sultanas
2 bay leaves (and 3 for the top if you want)
30g whole blanched almonds
2 large eggs
2 tbsps whole milk (& some extra to soak the bread in)
1 slice white bread

What to do

Soak the bread in the extra milk. Might seem like a pretty weird thing to do but it helps the texture of the mince-y bit. Leave it soaking while you do the rest.

Fry the onion in a couple of tbsps olive oil on a gentle heat, until softened. Add the garam masala, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and bay leaves and fry for another minute or so. Stir in the mango chutney, then add the mince, frying off until it's all cooked through. Add the sultanas, and salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the whole almonds (works well in a dry frying pan) until brown - make sure you watch them, they go from not done at all to burnt inconveniently quickly - then add them to the mince mixture.

Now pick up the milky bread and squeeze the liquid out of it - wet bread feels completely disgusting to touch, but it's easier than faffing around trying to squash it with a spatula or something - and beat it into the mince mixture. Pick out the bay leaves and try to fish out the cloves as well if you can find them. It doesn't really matter if not, as long as you don't mind finding a whole clove in your mouth!

Tip the mix into an oven dish. Now make the topping - beat the eggs with the remaining milk and pour over the top, laying the 3 bay leaves on top if you're that way inclined.

Bake at 180 degrees C until the top is set and golden - about 30 mins. It should look like this!

Dish up and enjoy! Hope you give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. This looks really good, unusual combo of ingredients (for me anyway:) ) - will defo give it a go