Bobotie – Traditional Cape Malay dish

bobotie3Bobotie is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. Bobotok was an Indonesian dish consisting of meat with a custard topping that was cooked in a pan of water until the egg mixture set. Colonists from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia probably introduced bobotie to South Africa.The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609.  Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community. It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight “tang”.

It is a dish of some antiquity: it has certainly been known in the Cape of Good Hope since the 17th century, when it was made with a mixture of mutton and pork. Today it is much more likely to be made with beef or lamb, although pork lends the dish extra moistness. Early recipes incorporated  ginger, marjoram and lemon rind; the introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe somewhat but the basic concept remains the same. Some recipes also call for chopped onions to be added to the mixture. Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruit like raisins or sultanas, but the sweetness that they lend is not to everybody’s taste. It is often garnished with walnuts, chutney and bananas. 

Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavours that can add complexity. For example, the dried fruit (usually apricots and raisins/sultanas) contrasts the curry flavouring very nicely. The texture of the dish is also complex, with the baked egg mixture topping complementing the milk-soaked bread which adds moisture to the dish.

From Wikipedia



  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ml butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 slices  brown bread
  • 1 teaspoon apricot jam
  • 30 ml curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot chutney
  • 25 ml brown vinegar
  • 5 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml Worcester sauce
  • 15 ml tumeric
  • 1 kg minced meat
  • 10 ml salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup almonds sliced
  • 3  eggs
  • 8 bay leaves or lemon- leaves


  1. Preheat oven 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a baking dish. Soak the bread in the milk.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and garlic  oil until soft. Add the curry powder and apricot jam to the onions and mix well.
  3. Then add  the chutney, vinegar,lemon juice, Worcester sauce and half of the Turmeric  to the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread. Set the milk aside. Add the bread to the onion mixture. Stir in the raisins, salt, almond and minced meat.  Mix well and cook over low heat until meat changes colour. Take off the heat and add 1 beaten egg into the meat mixture en stir well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Lay the bay- or the lemon leaves onto the top of the  mixture.  Whisk together the reserved milk, egg, and other half of the Turmeric. Pour over top of the dish.

bobotie16. Place the dish in an oven pan, pour water into the oven dish about two thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven 1 hour.


Serve it with yellow rice

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