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(123 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 onions, 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 cloves, crushed
  • 1kg packet lean minced beef
  • 2 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 cloves



    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 leaves

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 eggs


  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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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
15th Mar, 2014
South African Bobotie by Nicholas M Equipment: Large casserole or small casserole dishes Frying pan Wooden spoon Measuring cups and spoons Ingredients: 500g minced beef 1/2 slice bread 250 ml milk ½ medium onion, finely chopped 1/4 cup seedless raisins 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds 2T apricot jam 2T Mrs Balls chutney 1 T lemon juice 1/2 tsp mixed herbs 1 tsp curry powder 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 tsp salt 2 tsp oil 3 eggs 4 bay leaves 1 cup rice Curry leaves and sliced almonds for garnish Method: 1. Preheat oven to 180 C. 2. Soak bread in 125 ml milk, squeeze dry and mix with minced beef. 3. Mix in all other ingredients except remaining milk, oil, eggs and bay leaves. 4. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown meat mixture really well, stirring frequently. 5. Place mixture into small casserole dishes. 6. Lightly beat eggs and then add 125 ml milk and beat well. Pour about 2 spoonfuls over meat in casserole dishes. Garnish with bay leaves and bake for 25 to 30 minutes for small individual boboties. The topping should be set and golden brown. 7. Rinse rice well and place rice in a large pan. Cover with cold water. Add salt, stir and bring to the boil (should take about 5 minutes for the water to boil). Once it reaches a strong boil, turn down and simmer for 12-13 minutes (taste the rice at 12 minutes to see if it is cooked). Remove from heat, drain and fluff with a fork. Cover and stand. 8. Prepare the plate with rice and chutney and then take the bobotie out of the oven at the last minute. Garnish rice with curry leaves.   This recipe of a Y5 boy in my husband's school is the most delicious. We tried the BBC's and it was not the same as we used to have 'back home'. The spices isn't great to be honest. Nicholas made this and went through to the semi-final round for a cooking competition at his school in Bucks. He missed the finals due to his timings. With this recipe he is definitely my Top Cook! I think there must be some South African blood running through his veins. Thank you, Nicholas! I really enjoyed your Bobotie!
mrs full
21st Jan, 2014
I made this for my daughters homework as she needed to cook a African recipe. This turned out very tasty i did not put in cloves and all spice berries as i don't like them but followed every thing else it was very flavoursome. I served it with home-made coleslaw it was delicious.
25th Oct, 2013
Made the vegetarian version with textured soy protein. Excellent.
3rd Aug, 2013
This recipe is excellent. Wasn't sure at first but was lovely. Making again tonight using lamb mince also serving the tomato and onion salad and yellow rice. Also making the spicy African chicken stew which is also awesome!
10th Jun, 2013
Really easy and tasty recipe. I used half fat creme fraiche instead of cream in the topping and it was really delicious. Served with salad for a good healthy meal. Will definitely make this again!
10th Mar, 2013
use lamb mince rather than beef and also add zest and juice of 1 lemon,1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a few chillies, serve with roasted sweet potato
4th Feb, 2013
Used this recipe this evening because I have lost the one my mum used to use. Really good. However I remembered my mother used to add lemon juice and flaked almonds so I added these. Used the crusts from a loaf of wholemeal bread and missed out the all spice berries, herbs and cloves. Was till gorgeous and enjoyed by all!
26th Jan, 2013
In South Africa it's common to use fresh lemon leaves rather than bay leaves because fresh bay leaves are not always easily obtainable and dried bay leaves are usually tasteless. Lemon leaves impart a very pleasant and unique flavour. I have used Fry's vegetarian mince instead of meat, and the results were very satisfactory.


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