Bobotie

This quintessential Cape Malay dish—lightly curried beef or lamb mince topped with an egg custard—is usually served with turmeric-flavored rice and a dab of fruit chutney.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, peeled and sliced

2 1/4 pounds minced beef or lamb

1 thick slice of white bread

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon)

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/2 tablespoons malt vinegar

1/2 cup seedless raisins

2 tablespoons fruit chutney

2 bay or fresh lemon leaves

2 medium eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Heat oil in pan and sauté onions over medium heat until transparent. Add minced meat and cook until lightly browned and crumbly.

Soak bread in half the milk, squeeze out the excess liquid, and mash with a fork. Pour the squeezed-out milk back into the remaining milk and set aside. Add the mashed bread, curry powder, sugar, salt, pepper, turmeric, vinegar, raisins, and chutney to fried meat and onions and mix. Spoon mixture into a greased baking dish, and place bay or lemon leaves on top. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes.

Beat eggs with milk and pour over the mixture approximately 25-30 minutes before the end of baking time.

Servings: Serves six

Roti

South Africa’s Indian immigrant population has contributed several dishes to the nation’s multicultural menu, including this one for a flaky fried bread used to mop up curry.

Ingredients:

3 cups plain flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Water

9 ounces soft butter

Directions:

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the oil and rub into the mixture by hand. Add small amounts of water gradually to form a soft, elastic dough. Cover and leave somewhere warm for five minutes.

Break off tennis ball-size pieces of the dough. Roll out each piece on a floured surface to form individual discs the size and thickness of a dinner plate. Spread butter on dough, then roll up each disc into a thin log. Swirl each log into the shape of small bun and then roll out again.

Fry the flattened dough pieces individually in vegetable oil for approximately two minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly. Crush gently between hands before eating.

Servings: Serves about six

Cape Brandy Pudding

Brandy was first distilled at the Cape in 1672, and it’s likely that this recipe for a warming winter pudding was concocted soon after.

Ingredients:

Pudding

1 cup plain flour

1 cup stoned and chopped dates

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup castor sugar

1 cup chopped nuts

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 dessert spoon butter

1 cup brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs, sifted flour, baking powder, salt, chopped nuts, and half the chopped dates. Combine the remaining dates with the boiling water, add baking soda, stir, and let cool before adding to the first mixture. Mix all the ingredients well, pour into a greased ovenproof dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 356°F (180°C).

To make the syrup, boil sugar, butter, and water until a viscous liquid forms (about five minutes). Remove from heat and add brandy and vanilla essence. Pour the hot syrup over baked pudding until it is completely absorbed.

Servings: Serves six

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