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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.

Traditional South African bobotie recipe

Traditional South African bobotie. photo by Michelle Parkin

These quantities serve up to eight people, but you can adjust them 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…(I slice them thinly, sprinkle with salt and crush with the blade of a knife)
  • 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

Soak bread in milk. Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic. When onions are soft, add curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix well. Drain and mash bread and reserve milk. Add bread to pan together with mince and sultanas. 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.

Beat remaining eggs with reserved milk (you should have 300 ml, or a little more) and the salt and turmeric. 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.

3 Responses to “Traditional South African bobotie recipe”

  1. Hilda

    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.

  2. 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


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