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(162 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


  • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

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



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • 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…

  • 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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19th Jun, 2020
Really nice and very easy to make. Went down very well with the family only disappointment was that there were no seconds!
22nd May, 2020
I was a bit unsure of the recipie but gave it a go anyway to use up some mince & having no tinned tomatoes. Very tasty, if you like curries with a bit of fruit in. My partner loves it & I'll definately me making it again. Thank you for the recipie.
Anan Meem's picture
Anan Meem
16th May, 2020
This was delicious. I've been trying to use up a ton of beef mince for the last few weeks. Have not been very successful so far... but the bobotie has finally let me taste success! Thank you!
Carol Aldrich's picture
Carol Aldrich
30th Apr, 2020
Oh my word, this was delicious. Needed inspiration for new recipes and gave this a go. Went down a treat with my son and husband. We love spicy food and was a nice change from a curry and a good way of serving veg with it too ;0) Delicious and they have requested again. As above ,I didn't put the berries in either
13th Mar, 2019
New taste to me and a very nice one. Made enough for two without the allspice berries (none out here in the sticks of Somerset). Would highly recommend.
Chené Cooper's picture
Chené Cooper
11th May, 2018
Thank you Sara for this lovely recipe! I am Afrikaans but made this for my husband and his family that are Australian..and they really loved it! :) will always stick this is recipe.
9th Mar, 2018
I was really unsure about this when I put it I the oven, it just didn't look right, but it was absolutely delicious, everyone thought so!!
13th Dec, 2017
My husband is South African born and he loves this, I always use a pinch of salt instead of a whole tsp, put more chutney in and sometimes use korma paste instead. I prefer korma paste but my husband prefers madras. Flavours are great. I also use 1 tsp of ground allspice and 1/4 tsp of ground cloves, it does taste better when you use whole cloves and berries but I can never fin them to pick them out until someone has had a nasty surprise.
17th Aug, 2017
Made this dish with Quorn mince and it took up the flavours really well. This recipe is easy to make as a vegetarian meal if you want a low fat, cruelty free option.
18th Dec, 2016
Followed the recipe closely, except used 10% fat beef instead of lean (I drained the fat), and it came out really well, super tasty. However after dividing the finished product into 6 portions, each portion only weighed about 225g, so next time If I will 1.5x or 2.0x ingredients and use lean mince. Thanks!


28th Dec, 2017
Can you freeze this?
goodfoodteam's picture
30th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. We think it is better not to freeze this recipe. All our freezable recipes are marked with a blue star above the nutritional information.
Cape Fibrelinings's picture
Cape Fibrelinings
24th Sep, 2019
Super dish! It's pronounced ba-boo-(a)-tie. More like as in shake your bootie than boor. Perhaps it is being confused with Boer but is of Cape Malay origin as far as I know? Also great with apricot jam and turmeric which is commonly added down here. Bonupatree
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