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Explore South African Babotie


A South African food recipe

A typical Cape Town dish, Babotie is a South African food recipe with Malaysian origins. Like many South African food recipes, Babotie was introduced to the Cape during a time when traders and slaves where bringing all kinds of influences to the Cape, including religion, language and food. Traditional South African food is therefore an eclectic mix of various cultural recipes, brought together to shape a country with  a diverse collection of dishes.

As an example of typical South African food, Babotie is a recipe featuring spices from the east, and also typical of the Cape, the dish is rather sweet. This theme is carried through in many South African dishes, where vegetables like carrots are sometimes sweetened. Sweet potato is also popular with people of Cape Malay decent and many Afrikaans families, both cultures being renowned for their South African recipes and delicious home cooked meals.

Babotie is not difficult to make and if you follow the recipe below you can cook up a traditional South African dish for yourself, wherever you are in the world.

  • 1lb of minced beef (cooked)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 slice of bread soaked in milk
  • 1 table spoon of curry paste or curry powder
  • Half a cup of coconut
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of apricot jam
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs

Instructions for making Babotie:

Cook the minced beef, adding salt and pepper to taste, a tablespoon of tomato paste and some parsley. Once this is done you can set the mince aside.

Now fry the onion in butter and add the curry. Put that aside and beat the eggs and milk together. Now add the lemon juice to the curry, then the jam, coconut, bread and vinegar. Add the mince beef and a third of the milk and egg mix.

Bake this for ten minutes in an open shallow dish at 160 degrees Celcius. Then pour the rest of the milk and egg mixture over this and put it back in the oven until it browns.

Babotie is often served with yellow rice, which could be served with raisins mixed in.

There you go, easy as that and you have a delicious traditional Cape Town meal!

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