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(124 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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7th Jun, 2012
Don't know what happened but the topping was like scrambled egg that wouldn't set, although the meat was ok. May have another go at this and see if i do better. this is the only thing from this site that we haven't really liked and i use this site a lot.
4th Jun, 2012
I followed the recipe quite closely, just used cream instead of milk for the topping, and it turned out really well. We entertained a south African friend, and she absolutely loved it. She suggested adding shredded carrots and apples, so we'll try that next time. Thanks very much for sharing this. Chris in Victoria Canada
12th May, 2012
This is a brilliant recipe that I've cooked on many occasions. I usually put mixed spice in, rather than all the separate spices. Jooles - I always make more than I need and simply put it in a container in the freezer. All you then need to do is defrost it, put the topping on and bake!
jburton's picture
4th May, 2012
I wonder if this could be frozen, if I put it in freezer (wrapped well) at the point of putting on the topping, I would put that on when it goes in the oven and will of course make sure the meat hasn't been previously frozen. I have made this dish before and its lush, I want to make it again this weekend and would like to freeze some too...??
15th Apr, 2012
I love this, im not sure where i made mine from originally but i use longways sliced bananas over the top and its sooooo yummy
26th Mar, 2012
Bobotie is now a family favourite. Not like anything I have tasted before, a gorgeous rich flavour. Lovely with the yellow rice. Will make next time we have friends over too as so easy to make.
7th Feb, 2012
Lovely, have made this several times, each time a winner.
2nd Feb, 2012
YUM! dying to try this recipe... havent had Bobotie since i was a kid. My mother used to make it often.
20th Jan, 2012
I was surprised by how nice this is! Tweaked it slightly to use stuff I had in ... so I swapped mango chutney for leftover cranberry sauce. Ground allspice instead of berries. Natural yoghurt instead of milk. It all worked out fine. I made one with beef for hubs and one with quorn for me. The veggie one needed a bit of liquid adding ... but handily I had a bottle of red open so added a generous splash of that. Hey Presto ...yum. Yellow rice very easy and nice with it!
15th Jan, 2012
Wow this is delicious! My husband cooked this for my birthday dinner and when I first read the recipe I was dubious but when i tasted it I was blown away. It is such an authentic and flavoursome dish. It goes perfect with the yellow rice recipe. Someone very usefully pointed out that you can buy "Mrs Balls Chutney" in Tesco which we did, and it really complimented the dish. We will definately be making this again!


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