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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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bobotie a dish which has been popular in southern africa for centuries. While it was once presumed to have come to the Cape direct from the East Indies (the Cape being the halfway house for fleets plying between Holland and the Spice Islands), it is now thought to have been adopted by the home country before the Cape was colonized (the first recipe identified dates from 1609). There is also a suggestion that the name might derive from the Javanese dish known as botok or bobotok. Typically, it is a curry-type dish baked in the oven, containing finely minced meat with a blend of sweet/sour ingredients and topped with an egg and milk sauce. It reflects the influence of spices from the Dutch East Indies, used by the Cape Malays, but often incorporates local ingredients such as apricots, almonds, etc. A version with yellow rice and raisins is well known, but there are innumerable variations, including fish boboties.