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(120 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 6
Pronounced ba-boor-tea, the national dish of South Africa is a delicious mixture of curried meat and fruit with a creamy golden topping, not dissimilar to moussaka

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal386
  • fat16g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs20g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre1g
  • protein43g
  • salt0.97g
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  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 25g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1kg packet lean minced beef
  • 2 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 clove



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 5 allspice berries
  • 2 tbsp peach or mango chutney
  • 3 tbsp sultana
  • 6 bay leaf

For the topping

  • 300ml full-cream milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 2 large egg


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak.

  2. Meanwhile, fry the onions in the butter, stirring regularly for 10 mins until they are soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and beef and stir well, crushing the mince into fine grains until it changes colour. Stir in the curry paste, herbs, spices, chutney, sultanas and 2 of the bay leaves with 1 tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper.

  3. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Squeeze the water from the bread, then beat into the meat mixture until well blended. Tip into an oval ovenproof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep). Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.

  4. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs with seasoning, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.

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Comments, questions and tips

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18th Dec, 2016
Followed the recipe closely, except used 10% fat beef instead of lean (I drained the fat), and it came out really well, super tasty. However after dividing the finished product into 6 portions, each portion only weighed about 225g, so next time If I will 1.5x or 2.0x ingredients and use lean mince. Thanks!
21st Aug, 2016
I've made this dish twice now after falling in love with all things South African on my honeymoon. The first was for my husband and mum, who "doesn't like" half of the ingredients- and she absolutely loved it! (As did my husband and I, but we are easier to please!) I halved all the ingredients and it worked wonderfully, the only thing was I was following the instructions to the T and it doesn't tell you to take out the bay leaves and cloves, which led to a particularly untasty surprise! So I've just made it again and look them out before adding the bread. It's one of the strangest things I'very ever made but so, so tasty! Sweet but spicy and homely! Because you can make the first part in advance it makes it ideal for an unique dinner party dish and I will certainly be making it for friends in the future! Best served with some South African wine and an Amarula Don Pedro for dessert!
29th Jan, 2016
I made this dish for a few friends for lunch today and I have to say it was fantastic. The flavours were delicious and it was a definite hit with everyone. I only used 500g of mince but I stuck to the amounts in the recipe for the rest of the ingredients and it worked perfectly. I served it with Yellow Rice and Kashmir Chilli Mango Chutney. This is a very filling meal. Will most certainly be making this again.
24th Jan, 2016
Daughter made this as part of her homework on African cuisine. It was absolutely fantastic! We all enjoyed it, however daughter and hubby disliked the texture of the soaked bread so I'd miss it out next time. Other daughter didn't like the egg topping but it meant more for me ;) Flavours were lovely, not too spicy. We used raisins instead of sultanas, we aren't big fans of them but they went down a storm. Served it with the Yellow Rice recipe on here and crusty bread. It's a keeper!
8th Dec, 2015
I've made this many times, along with the yellow rice, and it is a firm family favourite. The best main meal we've had from Good Food barring none. I serve it with homemade chapatis, which along with the yellow rice can be made whilst the bobotie is in the oven.
21st Oct, 2015
Made this as part of a "Bokker Buffet" to eat post Wales v South Africa game last Saturday. Easy to make and very positive feedback from guests - which is far better than the feedback for the result of the game - lots of sad Welsh rugby fans. Needed lots of beer and wine to console the guys. I will definitely make this again - I followed the recipe faithfully - yes it was a tad sweet, but very tasty.
7th Aug, 2015
I thought this was a nice dish, I really enjoyed it, however my son and husband didn't, so only 4 stars.
14th Apr, 2015
Kicking myself for following the recipe with regard to the salt-1 tsp of salt is far far too much.
14th Aug, 2014
This is delicious. I serve this with rice and mango chutney.
4th Jul, 2014
Loved this! Added lemon juice & zest as per suggestions, also used creme fraiche instead of milk. Never had anything like this before but both myself & my unadventurous husband enjoyed this & I will be cooking it again.served with the delicious yellow rice & tomato salad


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