Bobotie: a delicious, flavorful recipe for a classic South Africa dish

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
White bread
2 slices
onions, chopped
25 g
garlic cloves, crushed
lean beef, minced
1 kg
madras curry paste
2 tbsp
Dried mixed herbs
1 tsp
whole allspice berries
mango chutney
2 tbsp
3 tbsp
Bay leaves
for the topping
Whole Milk
300 ml
Large eggs

Made from wonderfully spiced minced meat and a rich eggy topping, bobotie is one of South Africa‘s most famous national dishes. Bobotie, pronounced “ba-boor-tea,” dates back to the 17th century. It's widely believed that bobotie was introduced to South Africa by slaves brought over from Indonesia. The recipe was subsequently adopted and popularized by the Cape Malay community.

It's a delicious curried meat dish with a creamy custard crust. If you're looking for a mouthwatering, fragrant, hearty dish that will impress your friends and family, try making bobotie!


Tips for Making the Best Bobotie

Bobotie can be prepared up to one day in advance. The day you plan on cooking and serving it, make the topping and bake it per the recipe.

Thick sliced bread is ideal for making bobotie.

You can make bobotie with lamb, beef, or game meat.

If you don't have chutney, apricot jam makes a great substitute.

Serve your bobotie with yellow rice, crusty bread, tomato sambal, and chili sauce.

How to Store Bobotie

Cover or transfer the bobotie to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Frozen bobotie lasts 2 months.

How to Make Bobotie

Preheat your oven to 355F. Pour cold water over the bread. Set aside.

Saute the onions in butter for 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

Stir in the garlic and beef, and cook until the beef begins to brown. Mix in the curry paste, dried herbs, cloves, allspice, chutney, raisins, 2 bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

Squeeze the bread to remove the water. Add the bread to the meat mixture, breaking it up so that it is well-incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, then smooth the top down.

To make the topping, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the meat mixture. Garnish with the 3 remaining bay leaves and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.


Use a 9×13-inch casserole dish to make your bobotie.

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