Bobotie: – a South African traditional dish.      

(A bit like a funny light curry with an omelette on top……)

No self-respecting South African household/family does not own (and treasure!) a favourite Bobotie recipe.

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      30 mins       

Course:        Main

Serves:        6

Rating:         2: Easy, but there’s a bit of messin’ about.

For 6 people, find:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 or 3 large red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1kg good quality lean beef mince
  • 1 thickish slice of white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon medium curry powder (or half a jar of tikka masala paste)
  • 2 thumb-sized lumps of peeled root ginger, shredded/grated/finely chopped or otherwise smashed-up
  • 2 large carrots, shredded/grated/finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, shredded/grated/finely chopped
  • 100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • 200g cup seedless raisins/sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons strong chutney
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, when warm-ish, stir in the onions. Cook over medium heat until transparent.
  • Add the beef mince. When a liquid appears in the pan, pour it off into a cup, cool it, discard the fat and use the jelly/stock for something tasty.
  • Cook the mince until lightly browned and crumbly.
  • Soak the bread in half the milk, squeeze out excess milk and mash the bread  with a fork, pouring the squeezed-out milk straight back into remaining milk. Set the milk aside.
  • Add the squeezed & pulled-apart bread to the meat mixture.
  • Add curry, sugar, salt, pepper, turmeric, vinegar, raisins, chutney to the beef mixture. Mix it up’n’make it nice.
  • Spoon the resulting awful-looking mixture into a greased baking dish, and place bay leaves on top.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes in preheated 350°F oven.
  • Beat egg with remaining milk and pour over mixture approximately 25 – 30 minutes before end of baking time.
  • Serve with steamed rice (traditionally turmeric yellow) and extra chutney.
  • South African comfort food!
  • See also the veggie version.

Bobotie – An alternative recipe

  • 25g Butter
  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 500g Minced beef
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2cm Fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp Garam masala
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 2 Cloves
  • 3 Allspice berries
  • 1 tsp Dried mixed herbs
  • 50g Dried apricots, chopped
  • 25g Flaked almonds
  • 3 tbsp Chutney
  • 4 tbsp Chopped parsley
  • 4 Bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 250ml Whole milk
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 50g Sultanas


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Heat the butter in a saucepan and cook the onions until soft. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and fry the beef, without oil, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the onions together with all the other ingredients except the milk and eggs. Mix well and put into 4 x 300ml ovenproof bowls or a large ovenproof dish. Press the mixture down with the back of a spoon.
  3. Beat the milk and eggs together lightly and pour over the mince mixture. Bake for 20–25 minutes for small boboties (and 30–40 minutes for a large one) or until the topping has set and is golden

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