Bobotie – A South African Signature Dish with Yellow Rice

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This wonderful dish of spiced meat baked in the oven until its egg-custard top is golden and blistered is one of my favourite comfort dishes. Bobotie is a traditional South African dish that’s prepared with beef or lamb, flavoured with warming spices and herbs and topped with an egg and milk topping then baked in the oven. Dating way back to its debut in a Dutch cookbook in 1609, Bobotie was created from the culinary traditions that were brought over from the Malayans and it’s name is derived form the Indonesian word ‘bobotok’, a traditional dish made with meat, spices and coconut milk.

Typically served alongside yellow rice studded with dried fruit, some sort of green vegetable and a sambal or chutney and nuts, this dish is still very prominent in South Africa today and a great represent of the wonderful spices used in South African cuisine.

In my version, I use sultanas rather than raisins as I feel raisins are a bit too sweet. I serve it alongside Turmeric-spiced yellow rice, green peas, a nice chutney and garnish with cashews and almonds. A true taste of Africa and truly one of the most comforting, delicious dinners!

Spices used in this recipe




  1. Remove any crust and soak bread in  a small amount of the milk- Mash and set aside.
    Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C

    Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic,  when the  onions are soft , add the curry powder, vinegar, chutney and apricot jam or fruit.

    Next add the mince and saute till the meat  is no longer pink. Add the salt and taste to see if any further salt is needed. Then add the currants/sultanas and the bread and  mix well.
    Take the meat off the heat and add  1 beaten egg  to the mince.

  2. Put the mince mixture into an oven dish aproximatley  30 by 20 cm deep dish.  Place this dish in a larger tray with about 1 inch of water. Place the meat and water dish in the oven for 20 min.
    In a separate bowl beat the remiang 2 eggs with  the left over milk and add the bay leaves and cashews or other nuts.
    Remove the meat from  the oven and pour over the custard mixture. Return to  the oven for a further 30 min or until the custard is set- being careful to make sure there is still some water in the dish  so the  meat doesnt dry out.


  3. Serve with yellow colored rice – (add a 1/4 tsp of turmeric to the rice before cooking.)
    When the rice is cooked add some frozen peas  and serve with condiments like fruit chutney  etc

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