If for you, African food — including South African — conjured images of exotic meats, cooked rare and marinated with exotic spices, then you aren’t entirely wrong. But chef Mohamed Mustafa has more to say about it.
“South African food is a lot like Indian food, with all the spices. In fact, our cuisine has a little of everything — sweet, sour, salty and spicy,” says Mustafa, who is in the city for the first time for a food festival.
Look around the buffet and you’ll spot a live grill counter (beef, chicken, fish) with different spices to marinate them, a rack of lamb atop a bed of rice, a live stew counter and several South African favourites.
“Bobotie is a very popular dish, traditionally made with beef. It’s served with a variety of pickles and fruit chutneys,” explains the chef, adding, “There are South African meatballs too, which are spicy compared to the popular American version. For dessert, Banana Fritters are very popular. We serve them with a range of fruit sauces.”
Bananas happen to be a very common ingredient in South African food.
At Mustafa’s buffet, you will find them not just in the fritters, but even in soup and in yet another favourite, banana bread. Apart from the obvious raw meat, okra and coconut are also favoured ingredients.
Chef Mustafa shares his recipe of the iconic South African dish — Beef Bobotie Bobotie (serves 8) Bobotie is a South African dish that is available in many variations and therefore there can be a huge difference in its flavours. You can prepare this traditional dish with fish, beef, venison or ostrich. There is one thing all these variations have in common — a spicy fruity taste with only a hint of curry.
1 kg ground beef
1 slice of bread
25 ml milk
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup flaked almonds
2 tsp apricot jam
1 large finely chopped onion
2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 lemon juice n Salt
2 tbsp masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp pepper
Put the bread in half the milk, remove it and keep it aside.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Mix together the meat, bread, onion, raisins, almonds, apricot jam, lemon juice, olive oil and the spices.
Place this mixture (called bobotie) in a non-stick pan for about 10 minutes on moderate heat.
Then place it in an oven dish.
Whisk eggs together and the rest of milk and pour the mix over the bobotie.
Bake at 200°C (thermostat 5) for 50 minutes.
Cut it into squares or wedges and serve with rice and chutney.