• 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(149 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
27th Aug, 2012
Yum. Would be tempted to add some courgette or pepper to this to pad it out and make it a bit healthier, but actually it's lovely as it is with a large salad and some yellow rice. Will become a standard family meal.
14th Aug, 2012
This is one of my all time fav meals, i found it in a good food mag i think 19 years ago and have cooked it since, although the original one had sliced banana ontop of the mince and under the topping, which just makes it mega yummy
21st Jul, 2012
I first tried this in a pub years ago and recently found this recipe, hoping to replicate the original. I made it with minced quorn for a veggie/lower fat version and it turned out very well. If you make it with Quorn, best to add some water to the mince as it absorbs liquid so quickly and there is little of that in this recipe. Quorn also freezes very well and my family have difficulty in telling the difference between this and mince beef. It is a very rich and fairly sweet dish, but the flavours are wonderful. I was wondering about adding the soaked bread and thought it may make it a little "lumpy", but no problem there, it mixed in really well. I used a mango and apricot chutney and a teaspoon of Allspice (instead of the berries. Personally, I would just serve it with a crisp salad with a lemon/citrus dressing as it is such a substantial dish.
12th Jul, 2012
Made this the other day and will be making again. a meat loaf with a difference.Fab dish. Used low fat creme fraige (sorry, not sure about the spelling) instead of full fat milk which give it a nice topping and added a pinch of cinnamon which added a lovely flavour. Made the Apricot Blatjang as suggested on here which is well worth cooking as it tasted great and will keep in glass jar for ages.
10th Jul, 2012
Made this yesterday for dinner & its so tasty!!! Only alterations I made were to use a wholemeal bap, tikka paste & some allspice powder rather than berries. Not sure if i was supposed to but I also ALWAYS drain my mince once fried to remove as much excess fat as possible. My two children (5yrs & 3yrs) had it with some oven baked potato wedges & broccoli & I had clear plates (one of which is a fussy eater!!) My eldest even actually asked for more rather than her pudding!!!! Myself & my husband had ours with boiled rice & the cucumber & onion salad thingy - all went really well with each other. I will definatly be making this dish again, love the flavours & the fact its something slightly different yet so quick & simple to make!!!
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
3rd Feb, 2018
Thanks for replying I love this dish so that is really useful to know for the future x
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...??


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?