Bobotie and sweet rice (South African Spiced meat with egg custard)

8:13 AM

I have been wanting to start this series for quite sometime and with the temperature and humidity killing us in India, I guess this is the best time to start. this would not only save us from toiling in the kitchen for long but also help us to make scrumptious, healthy meal ready at the table in a ziffy. So the idea here is to start a new category of egg preparation which I will post as a series in the coming months. All the recipes would be linked to Meat and Poultry category on the right side bar for your easy reference.

This series feature one of my favourite ingredient...EGGS. I cannot think of a more versatile, satisfying ingredient than this humble protein. It’s a shame that most of us associate eggs with breakfast and often forget that if prepared properly it could also make a fulfilling meal. So in my quest I have tried to scr… around the world and find out unique egg preparations which are easy, quick, healthy and balanced.

Today am presenting to you this South African Bobotie. I first saw this dish on Food Safari and immediately fell in love with this. South Africa over time has seen many colonisation and immigration as a result of which it's cuisine is highly influenced by that of the settlers. Though the very heart of the nation's cuisine is still indigenous but its highly influenced with the spices and cooking techniques of the Dutch, Indian and Cape Malay people. 

Bobotie is a spiced minced meat dish topped with savoury egg custard and the name is derived from the Indonesian Bobotak. The Dish is believed to have originated during the Reign of the Dutch East India company which also explains the addition of curry powder and Chutney.

I have been making them again and again for dinner and my family just loves it. And the best part is it comes together within 30 minutes.To serve I prefer to add a generous salad of leaves, cucumber, onion, olives and green apples. And the whole thing is served with a slightly sweeter rice preparation. My son loves to pack the leftovers for his snack box with some soft Pav (dinner rolls) bread.

This dish makes a great meal out of the leftovers. So if you are cooking this, make sure to make a bigger batch and save half for lunch, the next day.

(Serves 4)

Chicken Mince: 1/2 kg (Or mutton mince see notes)
Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Allspice berries: 5-6
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp
Onion: 1 large
Ginger: 1/2" piece
Garlic: 5-6 cloves
Green chilly: 1
Bay leaves: 2
Dry red chilli: 1
Black pepper powder: 1/3 tsp
Raisin: handful
Sweet and sour mango pickle: 1 tsp
Turemric: 1/3 tsp
Lemon juice: 1/2 tsp
Brown bread: 2 pieces
Milk:1/2 cup
Oil: 2 tbsp
Eggs: 3
Milk: 1/2 cup

Soak the raisins in a bowlful of water.
Chop the onion and keep aside.
Soak the breads in the milk. Set aside.
Dry roast the coriander, cumin and allspice for a minute. In a mortar and pestle make a coarse paste of the coriander, all spice, cumin, both chillies, garlic, turmeric and ginger. Set aside.

Take a frying pan and heat the oil. Add the onion and saute till they change colour (2 minutes). Now add the spice paste and cook till the raw smell is gone. Now add the minced chicken and stir continuously to loosen them up. Sprinkle salt and pepper powder cook for 5-6 minutes. squeeze out the milk from the bread and crumble, add to the meat and cook with the chutney. Adjust salt and heat. Finally add the raisins and lemon juice. Mix and switch off.

Pre heat the oven at 160C.

Whisk the eggs with the left over milk and little salt. 

Place the meat mixture in an oven safe bowl. Spread to fill the pan and level the top. Carefully pour the eggs on top so that it covers all the meat. Place the bay leaves on top. and bake for 15-20 minutes or the egg is set and brown on the edges.

Serve with rice and salad of your choice.

Easy sweet yellow rice.
(my own recipe)

Rice: 2 cups
Warm water:  cups
Cinnamon stick: 1" piece
Cloves: -5
Green cardamom: 2
white oil: 1 tsp
Butter: 1 tsp
Turmeirc: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp

Wash the rice well and drain the water. Dry it out by spreading it on asome paper for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil and add lightly pounded cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. when the release the aroma add the rice, turmeric and salt. Stir on low heat for the grains to turn tranluscent (3- minutes). Add the water and butter. Mix. Bring it to a boil and then cover with a fitting lid. Keep the flame at minimum and cook for 10 minutes. 
Do not open the lid often. check around 8 minutes mark.
When the rice absorbs all the water remove the lid and place a tea towel on top. Wipe the lid and cover the tea towel. Keep on the switched of flame for 10 minutes.
Serve warm.

A Homemaker's Notes:
If you are using Mutton then you need to cook it for longer period of time. Add 1/3 cup of more milk to the egg mixture and increase the cooking time to 25 minutes.

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