It’s a spicy, aromatic – not hot – dish made up of ground beef (or lamb, although I prefer just beef) and peppered with roasted slivered almonds, dried apricots, sultana’s, curry powder and turmeric, and topped with a sort of egg custard.
It is delicious, and for a cold day it is perfect, served with yellow rice (this is a must), some chutney on the side, and a glass of red wine.
I got the recipe from a very well known South African culinary legend, Lannice Snyman.
Makes 8 servings
2 pounds / 1kg minced beef
butter, vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) crushed garlic
15 ml (1 tablespoon) curry powder
5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground turmeric
2 slices bread, crumbled
60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 small lemon
5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt, milled black pepper
100 g (3 ounces) dried apricots, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
50 g (1 1/2 ounces) slivered almonds, roasted in a dry frying pan
6 lemon, orange, or bay leaves
250 ml (1 cup) milk
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
Set the oven at 160°C (325°F). Butter a large casserole. Heat butter and oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in the curry powder and turmeric, and cook briefly until fragrant. Mix in the minced meat and let cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Mix together the crumbs, milk, lemon rind and juice, egg, salt, pepper, apricots, apple, sultanas (golden raisins) and almonds and mix in. Pile into the casserole and level the top. Roll up the leaves and bury them at regular intervals. Seal with foil and bake for 1 1/4 hours. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F). Mix together the topping milk, eggs and salt (you may require extra topping if you’ve used a very large casserole), pour over and bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes until cooked and lightly browned. Serve with yellow rice (while cooking rice, stir in a half teaspoon of turmeric before water comes to a boil) and a fruity chutney .