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This is a delicious, moist bobotie recipe that my mother taught me. Traditionally, it should also include a handful of quartered almonds. I find this adds to the flavour and texture.


Photo by Michelle Parkin.

Photo by Michelle Parkin.


Traditional South African bobotie recipe

Serves up to eight people, but you can adjust it to make the recipe smaller.


  • 1 fairly thick slice crustless bread (white or brown)
  • 375 ml milk
  • 25 ml oil
  • 10ml butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25 ml curry powder
  • 10ml salt
  • 25ml chutney
  • 15ml smooth apricot jam
  • 15ml Worcester sauce
  • 5ml turmeric
  • 25ml brown vinegar
  • 1 kg raw mince
  • 100 ml sultanas (don’t replace with raisins – they are too sweet; sultanas are much better for this recipe)
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch each salt and turmeric
  • bay leaves


Cooking method

  1. Soak bread in milk. Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic.
  2. When onions are soft, add curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix well.
  3. Drain and mash bread and reserve milk. Add bread to pan together with mince and sultanas.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring, and when meat loses its pinkness, remove from stove. Add 1 beaten egg, mix well, then spoon into a greased, 28 x 16 cm baking dish and level the top.
  5. vBeat remaining eggs with reserved milk (you should have 300ml, or a little more) and the salt and turmeric.

  6. Pour over meat mixture and put a few bay leaves on top. Stand dish in a larger pan of water (this is important to prevent drying out) and bake, uncovered, at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour or until set.

Serve with rice, coconut, chutney, nuts and bananas.

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  • I downloaded this to compare with the recipe in Lynn Bedford Hall’s cookbook and it is exactly to the word the same. Surprise!

    • Theresa

      Hi Hilda, I agree. I love Lynn Bedford Hall. One of my favourite recipes was her curry but unfortunately I lost my book. Really makes a wonderful curry.

  • Ally

    Well then I am very glad that I stumbled onto this recipe as my book is down in Cape Town. Thank you so much for posting this recipe the old folk had a way with food

  • Anne

    This is the best recipe I’ve tried by far – too divine!

  • Flavia

    I love it!
    I even cooked by myself in Italy!

  • Mary

    When do you all the almonds?

  • tebogo

    Thank you for a great recipe, my daughter agrees that it’s far better than the one they have at boarding school.

  • Sherry

    I lost my original recipe and have been searching for a good one for years….this is it. Although I reduced the mince to half as well as the sultanas. Thank you for bringing a bit of home to us here in France.

  • Hi all, this is a really easy recipe to follow being that I’m a blind south african living in Northern Ireland. I’m making it for some friends tomorrow evening so will be looking forward to hearing their comments. Is there a way I can get an accessible version of the Getaway recipe book? It needs to be accessible for me as I’m blind and can’t read print. Thanks x