In my experience, bobotie is a little bit like opera. Few folks seem to be neutral about it. They either love it or loathe it. I happen to be rather partial to both.
Growing up, bobotie was very much a ‘special occasion’ dish – for high days, holidays and, rather bizarrely, funerals. And that’s just silly because few things could be easier to make for a weekday meal than this South African classic. Soak a slice or two of white bread in milk, add a few mild spices, chopped onion, raisins, blanched almonds and mince and chuck the lot in an ovenproof dish. Pour over some egg and milk, stud with a few bay and lemon leaves and in the oven it goes. It practically makes itself.
Lazy cook heaven but, served with the obligatory yellow rice heady with cinnamon and plumped-up raisin jewels (plus home-made apricot chutney of course), it’s a thing of beauty. I get that my singing its praises is not enough and that there are skeptics among us who need to be won over. So I put on my apron and rustled up something with a bit of a twist…
…All the lovely nostalgic flavours of bobotie, encased in a crisp samoosa wrapper. Combine it with my quick, sweet ’n sour apricot dipping sauce with almond sprinkles and you’ve got yourself a rocking little party/rugby/movie-night-in snack. Go on bobotie haters, I dare you.