South African Bobotie: The Perfect comfort Food
One delicious bite of comfort food that you are just going to love because it is filling, warming, a little spicy, a little sweet and maybe nothing like you have ever tried before. South African Bobotie would be a delicious serve to your trick -or -treaters as it is warming, easy to make in advance and kids love it's tender texture.
I first published this recipe for South African Bobotie on March 1st, 2013 and have just updated it to make it dairy and gluten-free.
What is Bobotie?
A couple of years ago, I enjoyed my first delicious mouthful of a South African Bobotie and I am in forever in love with the flavors, spices, and creamy texture of this dish. Bobotie is a dish from South Africa, made of spiced meat and an egg topping.
What Sides are served with South African Bobotie?
Traditionally, bobotie would be served with sliced bananas, yellow rice with sultans (raisins) and of course Chutney.
South African cuisine is amazing as it has influences from all over the world and their dishes are a melting pot of spices and flavors. Traditionally, Bobotie is made with beef but also can be made with pork, mutton or lamb and then has curry, chutney, soaked bread to make it moist, sultans (raisins) and other seasonings that make you go back for seconds or maybe even thirds. (Wink...Wink)
What you crave when it is cold outside
I know that the combination of ingredients might not sound like what you are used to but you have to trust me on this. It works! Perfectly balanced in flavor, a little sweet, a little spice a little savory and the creamy and moist texture, especially on these cooler days makes this dish a winner. It is what your body craves. I think this little dish is some true comfort food!
Can you Freeze Bobotie?
Absolutely! This is one meal that makes a lot so eat one day and freeze for a day that is crazy busy and you want dinner in a flash. South African Bobotie is a great make ahead meal for Meal Prep Sunday. Actually, the longer the flavors have to mingle the more delicious it is. You will want to refrigerate your left overs up to 3 days and then can freeze up to 2 months in a freezer safe container and then just heat and eat in the microwave.
If we are going to freeze bobotie, we usually like to pre-slice it so we can take out as many servings as you need.
Gluten-free Alternatives for Bobotie
If you want to make this South African Bobotie recipe gluten free, use gluten free ketchup. If you are celiac, you are also going to want to make your own homemade fruit chutney or try another certified gluten-free chutney. I made Joy of Kosher Dried Apricot, Date and Ginger Chutney and swapped out coconut sugar for the granulated sugar and it was just beautiful. I even used just a little less sugar as you know how I do not like my things too sweet.
Even though Mrs. Balls Chutney does not specifically list any gluten in its ingredients list, it is not made in a gluten free factory. Mrs. Balls Original Chutney is a famous chutney used is South Africa and it is also available in Australia, Canada, Germany, UK and US.
A dear friend of mine, Abbie Wilson, spent several years living in South Africa and this is her families' Bobotie recipe. Abbie's recipe is traditional but she does not include sultans (raisins) in her Bobotie dish. Abbie's family tradition is instead to serve the bobotie with yellow rice with sultans and spices on the side, desiccated coconut, chutney, roasted butternut squash and peas. Abbie garnished her Bobotie with some toasted coconut and bananas. You have no idea what you have been missing out on.
As you know, I love when dishes bring in elements from many cultures and blend it into one dish. Abbie mentioned as with any great little curry, sauce and such that the Bobotie is even better on the second day as the flavors have a chance to mingle. This concept is why this dish is just perfect for entertaining as you can make it the day before and pop it back in the oven and sit down with your guests and enjoy your gathering. A very special thank you to Abbie for sharing her delicious South African Bobotie recipe.
More Delicious Comfort Food Recipes
South African Bobotie
- 1.5 pounds ground beef (minced)
- 2 slices bread
white gluten-free, soaked in boiling water
- 2 onions
medium, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp ketchup
(low glycemic) (gluten-free)
- 5 tbsp fruit chutney
(used Mrs. Balls original but if celiac you will need to use a gluten-free certified brand or make your own)
- 4 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 whole bay leaf
- 1 egg
- 1 cup almond milk
(can use regular milk if no dairy issues)
- 1 tbsp oil
- yellow rice with sultans and spices
- bananas for garnish (optional)
- desiccated coconut for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (Heat the oil and soften the onion on a very low flame for about 10 minutes.
- Add tumeric and curry and allow the flavors to mingle for about 2 minutes.
- Add chutney and gluten-free ketchup and cook for another minute.
- Strain water from gluten-free bread and add to pan, continue stirring.
- Add meat and stir lightly with a two pronged fork until evenly cooked. (Using the 2 fork pull apart method, makes the meat super tender)
- Add salt and bay leaves. Cook for a few minutes to allow the essence of the bay leaves to permeate the meat. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
- Place bobotie meat mixture into and greased ovenproof dish (9 in x 11 in)
- Make the Egg topping: a) Beat egg and milk together. b) Pour egg and milk mixture over the meat mixture and bake for about 45 minutes to 55 minutes or until the egg mixture is brown on top.
- Serve delicious cozy South African Bobotie with yellow rice, oven roasted butternut squash and peas on the side. Garnish Bobotie with desiccated coconut and bananas. Enjoy!