Well here I am, earlier than expected, but that's only because I made this amazing pie yesterday for brunch and couldn't wait to share it with you all. Before I lost interest I clicked a few pics (with whatever was lying around- no styling blah, blah) and decided to post it yesterday itself. But the enthusiastic husband instead decided to drag me to Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon, to the midst of all those Christmas shoppers and chaos and then after strolling (pushing through would be more apt) through just 3 department stores, he threw his hands up and said I hate this crowd, I hate Oxford Street (how on earth can you hate OS??)
Well, what did he expect it to be like 5 weeks (eeks only 5 more weeks) before Christmas? empty? I suppose not. So while I waited in line at Starbucks for a cup of eggnog latte, Ro was eating my head about the situation. I had warned him about the crowd and said we should go to a mall in the suburbs to avoid the crowd, but no OS was the ultimate shopping destination. And then I had to listen to all this nonsense and was so so so close to losing it when I suddenly had an idea- tea should do the trick. So I dragged him into the coffee bar at Debenhams, got him a pot of tea and scones and saw that smile return to his face. Really, if that's all it takes to keep a man happy, here I am bowing down to tea and scones.
So anyhoo, after all that galavanting I came home excited at the prospect of going back again ON MY OWN and just when I sat down to write a blog post, Ro came and nagged me again saying it was pizza and movie night. I was convinced pretty easily and so we sat and watched a cheesy mallu movie with wine and pizza :)
So here I am finally in the mood to write a post after I spent the whole of today moping around the house as a reflection of the foggy climate outside. I have a very unassuming cook book a friend gifted to me which has all these really easy but delicious recipes. I am too lazy to get up and go check the name of the book, so you will just have to take my word for it. I came across a Bobotie (pronounced Ba-boor-tea, apparently) recipe in that book and decided to make it for brunch, since its a one pot meal and I had all those ingredients it called for (well most of it, at least). But the internet obsessed me still googled for it and came across a much more interesting recipe. I had some left over herb rice which I served alongside, and it was heavenly. Both of us agreed.
I admit it is not the traditional way of making Bobotie, because I just went ahead and did what was convenient for me. It was tasty nonetheless.
Recipe adapted from here
Minced beef- 500 gms (use chicken, pork or mutton and it should be fine as well)
Butter- 1/2 tbsp (I used oil)
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Onion- 1 large
Garlic paste- 1/2 tbsp
Ginger paste- 1/2 tbsp
Tomato- 1 small (optional)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp (optional)
Dried mixed herbs- 1 tsp (I used thyme and parsley)
Dried apricots and sultanas- 2 tbsp each (I used only apricots)
Chutney- 3 tbsp (I used mango chutney)
Bay leaves- 2 + enough to bake
Single cream- 200ml
Salt and pepper- to taste
Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the cumin seeds and bay leaves.
Once it sizzles slightly, add the onions and sauté till light brown in colour.
In goes the minced meat of choice. Break it down with your spatula and cook on medium high heat till they have all changed colour (until you don't see the redness of the meat any more)
Reduce heat to medium and add ginger and garlic pastes and mix it all in and cook till the raw smell disappears.
Add all the remaining ingredients, except the eggs and cream, and stir well to combine.
Season with salt.
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring in between.
While that's taken care of, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly.
Add the cream, season with enough salt and pepper, whisk together and keep aside.
The water should have evaporated from the meat by now, leaving a moist mixture.
You can either go ahead and cook the meat completely or leave it 3/4th done, because you are going to cook it further in the oven. I chose to cook it all the way, since I really didn't want to take a chance.
Once the meat is cooked divide between 4 ramekins, pressing it firmly and leaving about an inch space above.
Stick a couple of bay leaves into the meat and using a ladle pour the egg mix on top of the meat. Fill all the ramekins.
Bake in an oven preheated at 180C for 25 minutes or till the topping has set firmly and has become golden brown colour.
Once done, cool on a rack for about 5 minutes and then serve with a salad or rice or just bread.
Notes: If you get curry powder, instead of all the masala's just use a tbsp of that.
Use apricot jam if you don't have dried apricots and whole milk instead of single cream
Original recipe called for 50gms each of dried apricots and dried sultanas. I thought that would be a bit too much. Use according to your preference. Next time id just use the jam instead.
It also called for 25gms of flaked almonds which I didn't have, so omitted it.
After reading a couple of reviews that said the egg mix just got mixed with the meat, I decided to pour the egg on top just before placing in the oven and I think it did the trick. I got a pretty decent layer on top.
You can just go ahead and make it in one large casserole dish, in which case bake it for an addition 10 to 15 minutes more.