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(151 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 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



    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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8th Dec, 2015
I've made this many times, along with the yellow rice, and it is a firm family favourite. The best main meal we've had from Good Food barring none. I serve it with homemade chapatis, which along with the yellow rice can be made whilst the bobotie is in the oven.
21st Oct, 2015
Made this as part of a "Bokker Buffet" to eat post Wales v South Africa game last Saturday. Easy to make and very positive feedback from guests - which is far better than the feedback for the result of the game - lots of sad Welsh rugby fans. Needed lots of beer and wine to console the guys. I will definitely make this again - I followed the recipe faithfully - yes it was a tad sweet, but very tasty.
7th Aug, 2015
I thought this was a nice dish, I really enjoyed it, however my son and husband didn't, so only 4 stars.
14th Apr, 2015
Kicking myself for following the recipe with regard to the salt-1 tsp of salt is far far too much.
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!
dhoohar's picture
6th May, 2018
Mrs. VR: Why did you not just leave a comment about this recipe? Thank you Sara - I really enjoyed the recipe and with all the good comments it was a better bet than trying Mrs VR's Nicholas recipe!
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.


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