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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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31st Dec, 2010
Dish absolutely fantastic - would recommend
29th Nov, 2010
I love Bobotie, and was introduced to it by some S.African friends. I'm so pleased I've got the recipe now so I can show off to them! This recipe turned out very well. I used apricot jam though as this is what is widely used in SA. It was very tasty!
28th Jul, 2010
This is seriously good. I added an extra tbsp of curry paste with a tbspn of apricot jam for extra flavour. The meat mixture freezes well too; I just added the milk/egg topping once it had defrosted which makes for a very quick supper.
22nd Jul, 2010
If anyone's having trouble finding allspice berries, they are sometimes called Pimento berries (confusing as pimento is also a red pepper). I got mine from a market stall selling West Indian foods.
13th Jul, 2010
Very easy to make and nice and tasty. As I was trying to watch the fat content made with turkey mince and still a lovely result. Served it with a large salad for lunch and it was clean plates all round. Didn't use the berries or sultanas and had curry powder. As suggested had Mrs Balls chutney which was available in Sainsburys - mmmm, nice!! Reheated well the next day also. Seems a weird mix of ingredients but really is worth it.
11th Jul, 2010
Very yummy - was slightly unsure about it as ingredients seemed an unusual mix but all the good reviews convinced me to give it a try - am glad I did - it was wonderful!
27th Jun, 2010
Very nice and unusual in flavour- lovely re heated next day.
25th Jun, 2010
I have made this dish twice now, both times with Yellow Rice; the whole family really enjoyed it, even my Son who usually makes some derogatory comments if food is spicy. I would recommend this dish to anyone, it's easy to make and really not too expensive once you've bought your spices.
23rd Jun, 2010
Made this when South Africa were playing. Omitted the sultanas and the berries, used Balti paste (what I had in the cupboard) and did 1/2 semi-skimmed milk and 1/2 double cream for the topping. Gorgeous! My husband, who is a bit fussy, went back for seconds. Amazing
21st Jun, 2010
really enjoyed this - very tasty. Kide loved it too which is always a bonus. Used multigrain bread as that was all I had. Served it with grean salad, corn on the cob and wild rice, and of course the apricot blatjang. I think they must have amended the vinegar qty due to complaints of "too vinegary" - we though it was delicious.


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