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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)

sarahcookerybook's picture

Amazing blend of flavours, and my South African husband said it was nothing like his mum's recipe (that's a good thing...) but I found this a bit stodgy and messy to serve up for anything more than a family weekend supper.

freya99's picture

Its even better if you make the "meat" part of it the day before, and chill, then add the egg topping before cooking. The flavours really intensify.

marcella0401's picture

I made this with the rice for friends and would definitely do it again. I bought the apricot thingybob from Tescos. The rice is nicer than anything I have made before. I also made the coconut tart and it was delicious.

renomate's picture

A great dish, although I had to make extra topping to cover the meat (which also freezes well). Will probably add even more spice and curry paste next time for an added kick, I also used pitta as didnt have any normal bread. Babotie, rice and apricot loved by all and will definitely be making again - isnt that right H?!

factreton's picture

My parents are South African and my gran and mum used to make this all the time. you no longer need to make the chutney (blatjang) yourself as Sainsbury's and Tesco sells South African 'Mrs Ball's Chutney' which will make the dish taste even better. I buy bottles of this every month and even use it in my usual curries.

janmclennan's picture

I rate this recipe as Five Star *****
Absolutely delicious.

gayathri's picture

I cooked this last week and loved it. I used 500gms beef mince and the dish lasted for two days. I couldnt find mango chutney, so used red onion and cranberry chutney, worked well. Instead of the madras curry paste I used a mix of chilli powder, cinnamon powder, garam masala and tumeric. Served with plain basmati rice and the next day had a huge serving for lunch with crispy salad. Its so easy to make and would definitely make again.

glenystalbot's picture

My husband cooked this when we had friends for dinner - and for such an easy dish it tasted fantastic. Will definately make again!

krysiai's picture

I forgot to get milk so used instead it Greek's yogurt, eggs and grated pecorino cheese for the topping. Worked very well!

chiefos's picture

I cooked this for my wife and some friends on a Friday night. Tasty, spicy and an out and out winning recipe. One word...Fantastic!!

maureenpearson's picture

Absolutely fantastic recipe, a wonderful blend of flavours with the other side dishes.

I made it for a celiac and used rice cakes instead of bread both for the Bobotie and the Prawn Cakes and it was just as good as using bread.

cwal10's picture

This is absolutely delicious. My mouth was watering as it was cooked. I couldn't find the all spice berries either so used allspice powder, and used regular mango chutney. It reheats well and makes a lovely lunch dish. Will be making this again

livetoeatkate's picture

This was absolutely delicious and will be made again. Again I just used a teasp. allspice as didn't have the berries or the cloves. A brown roll did as the 2 slices of white bread and currants replaced the sultanas but it turned out delicious and looked fantastic. The apricot blutyang (whatever) didn't go so well unless it was supposed to taste of vinegar. Maybe it will taste better tomorrow.

winker's picture

A really good dish with lots of flavour. Had them all salivating at work with the leftover lunch portion. Will definitely be making again.

des555's picture

I also make Babotie but am interested to know what herbs you use. I also soak my bread in milk.

christinegordon's picture

loved by us all and will definitely make again

zoe446's picture

This is such a great family meal, even the kids ate it.Really tasty and enjoyed by all. The whole menu was fab! Ive cooked this a few times now, for the family and for a dinner party. You must do the salad, rice and apricot blatjang as they compliment the bobotie well. One to do!

theolddaisy's picture

Super enjoyed by all and I will be cooking again Daisy

ibizaeileen's picture

Easy - and a perfect supper I used wholemeal brown bread. Will cook it again

petesfanny's picture

Easy and delicious. I couldn't get allspice berries either but just added a pinch of allspice. Served it with the apricot blatjang, which was the perfect compliment.


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