A Taste of Home
If someone were to ask me about an iconic South African dish it would have to be Bobotie. Nothing sums up our History and cultures quite like it. The dish originated from Holland, brought to Cape Town by the Dutch in the 17th Century, adopted by Malay Slaves and tweaked to perfection by households everywhere.
It is in essence a lightly spiced curry mince that is gently cooked with dried fruit, onion, curry powder and topped with a savoury egg custard infused with bay leaves before being baked. It is the perfect mix of sweet, savoury, spice and richness. It is often served with begrafnisrys or funeral rice, the name coming from the fact that it was always part of the meal served after funerals, a tradition of both the Dutch and the Cape Malays.
When we launched our new winter menu I wanted to add something from my heritage which suited these cold months and bobotie is the perfect match. We make ours with Cornish Lamb shoulder slow roasted in a mixture of twenty six spices, aromatics and dried fruit. We serve ours with confit carrots, puffed funeral rice and Malay Apple Chutney.
The guest response to this iconic dish has been fantastic and looks to be a future signature of Rastella.
Words by Chef Hylton Espey.