One of my favourite things about traveling is discovering a new dish, but sometimes it’s getting reacquainted with an old favourite. Rooted in the rich culinary tapestry of South Africa, this take on the classic bobotie draws inspiration from the esteemed Mev. Slade se Afrikaanse Kookboek published in 1939. With its aromatic blend of spiced minced meat, this dish encapsulates the diverse influences that have shaped the food we share and enjoy together. A fusion of Indonesian, Cape Malay, and Dutch flavours makes this savoury delight a beloved part of our heritage.


Prep time: 40 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour and 40 minutes | Serves: 6


for the bobotie

250 ml milk

2 bread slices, white

30 ml olive oil

5 g (15 ml) butter, salted

2 onions, chopped

1 kg beef mince

2 eggs, whisked

13 g (30 ml) curry paste

15 ml curry powder

5 ml cumin, ground

5 ml coriander, ground

2.5 ml turmeric

4 g (15 ml) black pepper, ground

60 ml chutney

60 ml apricot jam

for the egg custard  

3 eggs

200 ml milk, full cream

23 g (15 ml) Maldon salt

for the garnish

bay leaves

shaved almonds, toasted


for the bobotie

Preheat the oven to 180°C and place a bain marie with water inside to heat up. Soak the bread slices in milk to soften them. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter, then caramelize the onions.

Combine the caramelized onions, soaked bread, minced meat, eggs, and all the spices in a mixing bowl. Integrate chutney, apricot jam, and raisins into the mince mixture. Transfer the prepared mixture into a baking dish and bake for 1 hour in the bain marie in the preheated oven.

After the initial hour, pour the egg custard over the top of the dish and continue baking for another 30 minutes. This process ensures a well-cooked and flavourful Bobotie with a delightful egg custard topping.

for the egg custard

Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the mince and bake

for the garnish

After 1 hour, pack the almonds and leaves onto the bobotie and allow to back for 30 minutes

Best Bobotie Tips

Flavourful Spice Blend
Ensure your spice blend is well-balanced. Bobotie typically includes a mix of curry powder, turmeric, coriander, and other spices. Experiment with the proportions to achieve a flavours profile that suits your taste. Freshly ground spices can enhance the dish’s aroma and taste.

Incorporate Fruits and Chutney
To add depth and sweetness to the dish, include dried fruits like raisins or apricots in the minced meat mixture. Additionally, chutney is a common ingredient that complements the savoury and spicy flavours of Bobotie. Adjust the sweetness to your liking.

Egg Topping Technique
The egg-based topping is a signature element of Bobotie. Whisk the eggs well and add a touch of milk or cream for richness. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the meat, and use a fork to create a textured surface. This allows the eggs to form a golden-brown crust during baking.

Serve with Accompaniments:

Bobotie is often served with side dishes like yellow rice, chutney, and sliced bananas. These accompaniments complement the spiced meat and add contrasting textures and flavours.

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