Why You Shouldn’t Eat Bobotie in Bed
Eating in bed is one of those things, you know you shouldn’t, but you do anyway. The bed crumbs and smears of jam are the downside. This gooey recipe is great for any day of the week and if the bread is a day or two old then all the better.
Many moons ago I decided to try a service called Simply Cook, I have actually written before about this service, its great for helping you discover new dishes you would probably never have thought to try because the ingredients are unusual or expensive. It helped me discover an amazing African dish called bobotie, a dish which I have continued to make, largely because I discovered its a very simple set of interchangeable spices and its very easy to make. Many of the recipes use a simply curry powder mix with sultanas and spicy chutney, I like adding a bit of cinnamon to mine.
The origin of the recipe starts in Indonesia. Bobotok was an Indonesian dish consisting of meat with a custard topping that was cooked in a pan of water until the egg mixture was set. Although this remains a much discussed topic as it seems to be a variant of Patinam ex lacte, a dish documented by the ancient Roman writer Apicius, layers of cooked meat, pine nuts, and seasoned with pepper, celery seeds and asafoetida, it has the traditional egg custard layer on top.
The spice trail between Indonesia and Western Europe used by the Dutch brought the dish to South Africa and Cape Malay where it supposedly got its name Bobotie, the original Bobotok recipe is really not anything like the dish which we know as Bobotie, it is a dish using shredded fresh coconut and different spices in a banana leaf, it can be adapted to add any number of extra ingredients such as meat, fish and tofu.
This dish was then introduced to South Africa and the Cape Malay community adopted this dish. The origin of the name is thought by some to be from boemboe, which is the Malay word for curry spices, this would make sense being that it is spiced with medium curry powder.
It is a dish I enjoy very much and can be adapted in several different ways I often add extra vegetables to the meat. Its not the speediest of dishes as you do have to make sure you don’t cremate the egg custard topping but it is certainly a satisfying one. You could possibly eat it in bed if you really wanted to but I would suggest you eat it sitting at the table, much better for your digestive system!
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