Traditional South African Bobotie Recipe

bobotie RecipeBobotie is a South African dish consisting of curry spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. It is often served with Sambal, sliced banana, chutney and coconut shavings. This traditional bobotie is a mix of a few recipes, hints and advice. As with most great dishes everyone has their own special version but this one seems to do the trick for me. The dish is easy to prepare in advance and is delicious and moist. It is even better the next day. This recipe will make 4-6 servings.


• 1 kg (2.2 lbs) minced meats – I used beef, you can mix lamb/ beef or even ostrich if you wish

• 30 ml (2 Tbsp) oil

• 1 large carrot – peeled and grated

• 2 onions – chopped

• 10 ml (2 tsp) chopped garlic

• 5 ml (1 tsp) each of ground coriander, ground ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, sugar / apricot jam, salt

• 15ml (1 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice or white vinegar

• thick slice of white bread soaked in milk (just cover the thick slice)

• 125 ml (1/2 cup) almond slivers or flaked almonds

• 3 – 4 bay leaves

• 250 ml (1 cup) milk or buttermilk

• 3 eggs

seasoning to taste

Cooking instructions

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil then add the minced meat. Fry lightly for a few minutes until the mince is nice and crumbly – not big lumps (use a wooden spoon or a fork to separate bits). Add all the spices and the carrot. Add the lemon juice and mix in.

Add the soaked white bread, making sure to mix it in properly (you shouldn’t be able to see big chunks of bread). Add the almonds and mix through.

Lightly whisk together the milk or buttermilk and eggs. Spoon the mix into a medium-sized oven dish and level it with the back of a spoon. Pour the milk and egg mixture over this and poke the bay leaves in the mince for decoration.

Bake at 180 – 190 Celcius (350-375 F) for about 40 minutes. The now yellowish egg custard should be firm and set and a golden brown colour.

Serve the bobotie with any or all of the following:

  • yellow rice and raisins (see recipe below)
  • sliced banana covered with mixture of 1/2 cup of condensed milk and 1/4 cup of milk
  • chutney
  • coconut shavings or flakes
  • tomato sambals - chopped tomato, onion and parsley, olive oil and red wine vinegar, coarse sea salt, and ground pepper

South African Yellow Rice Recipe

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 1/2 cups of long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup raisins (sultanas are best), soaked in water for 20 minutes, then drained
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick


Add the water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add all the ingredients, including the raisins, and bring to the boil again. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside for another 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick, fluff with a fork and serve hot.
Optional, Stir 1-2 tablespoons of butter into the cooked rice at the end.

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