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(119 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 (162)

judisa's picture

Mrs balls peach/ fruit chutney are now sold by Sainsburys in the UK, and realy give the flavour of the fruit in this recipe.

Also bake sweet potatoes in its peels, and serve with rice and chutney for a real South african feast

judisa's picture

You can replace the white bread with rolled oats, and it's very tasty too!

kirconnel's picture

Instead of using the topping, try using this mixture with pasta sheets to make a most unusual but fantastic lasagne. It is now one of our favourites.

kmontgom's picture

Fantastic dish - will be making more of this soon. My friends love it and it is so easy to make.

sarahyoungs's picture

delicious, i changed the sultanas for chopped dried apricots and added an extra tablespoon of curry paste.
I doubled the toppin by using half milk, half creme fraiche and 4 eggs with some grated cheese

annarobinson's picture

Enjoyed this recipe however would leave off topping next time !

natanya-joy's picture

This was delish! I made it with only 300g of mince, rather than a kilo, but kept most of the quantities the same, and we still have loads of left overs. It's so filling! I didn't have mixed spice, cloves, madras currey paste, berries, bay leaves or chutney! But I looked up substitues for them, or just left them out and it turned out gorgeous. Will definitely be making it again, and best thing about it? My little kids loved it, so probably would leave the currey paste out anyway in future! Will definitely make this again..

jammyjam11's picture

Just eaten it!! Yummmmmmmmmmmm, i also couldn't find these berries but it was delicious all the same!! What does the bread do in the recipe by the way??

xhayleybabyx's picture

this already has loads of shining comments and ratings, but i'd like to add another! made this for myself and my housemates and it was gone in about 5 minutes!! really tasty and very easy to make.

jeanhands's picture

Ooops forgot to rate it lol.

jeanhands's picture

Just eaten this for lunch, really tasty I thought, hubby thinks it would have been better with sweet potato mash on top instead, maybe next time I'll try it.

budsey's picture

forgot to star rate it

budsey's picture

made this several times now love it

cyber-runner's picture

If you don't want to use bread, you can use oats to bind the recipe - or as an alternative, whisk 2 eggs and mix into the meat mixture just before placing it into the baking dish. A big favourite in our house!

chickin66's picture

Loved this dish, really easy and very tasty, great for dinner parties as you can prepare the day before. I didn't have any allspice berries, so just used allspice powder instead. My husband is making this for us tonight and I think we'll put a bit more chutney in to give it extra flavour. Goes really well with the yellow rice which is just as tasty.

vrog's picture

Had everything ready to make this, then found GF site was having 'technical problems' so couldn't see the instructions. Used method from Waitrose site with ingredients from here plus chopped apricots. Result was great, and even better the following day. Liked the sweetness of the fruit.

devine22's picture

This was a really easy dish didn't have the madras curry paste so used another curry paste I had in the pantry instead and it was still delicious another winner!

mimiskitchen's picture

This is lovely, like other people I did make some alterations. I used all spice powder instead of the berries, and like someone else I used Mrs Balls chutney which I found at Morrisons instead of the mango chutney. I also made the topping using 300ml of cream and 3 large eggs, which made the top souffle a little. I would definitely recommend it.

claassensfrancois's picture

the basics are there, will carry lots of little extras like cumen, geera and ginger in the mince, grate a touch of nutmeg, and a touch of parmesan in the topping, dont forget a good red wine to go with it.

mrsmandalay's picture

I was totally surprised of how lovely this dish was!
I had no cloves or allspice and used oregano and ground cumin for mixed herbs - it turned out super yummy! It smelled very much like curry, but didn't taste very curried. It had a slight sweet taste to it - eventhough the mango chutney I used was hot, but it balanced out perfectly! My husband was also delighted - will def make again!


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