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A South African favourite, this traditional bobotie recipe stems from my friend Ruschka’s mother’s recipe and has been altered to the recipe you see below.

traditional bobotie, bobotie recipe

Traditional bobotie recipe. Photo by Michelle Parkin.

Bobotie is easy to prepare in advance and is always a crowd pleaser. This traditional bobotie is a mix of a few recipes, hints and advice. As with most great dishes everyone has their own special version but this one seems to do the trick for me.


Traditional bobotie recipe


  • 500g mince – I used beef, you can mix lamb/ beef or even ostrich if you wish
  • 30ml oil
  • 1 large carrot – peeled and grated
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 10 ml chopped garlic
  • 5 ml each of ground coriander, ground ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, sugar / apricot jam, salt
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
  • thick slice of white bread soaked in milk
  • 125ml almond slivers or flaked almonds
  • 3 – 4 bay leaves
  • 250ml milk or buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • seasoning to taste

Cooking instructions

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil and add the mince. Cook this until the mince is nice and crumbly – not big lumps (use a wooden spoon or a fork to separate bits). Add all the spices and the carrot. Add the lemon juice and mix in.

Add the soaked white bread, making sure to mix it in properly (you shouldn’t be able to see big chunks of bread). Add the almonds and mix through.

Lightly whisk together the milk or buttermilk and eggs. Spoon the mix into a medium sized oven dish and level it with the back of a spoon. Pour the milk and egg mixture over this and poke the bay leaves in the mince for decoration.

Bake at 180 – 190 for about 40 minutes. The egg custard should be firm and set and a golden brown colour.

Serve the bobotie with yellow rice and raisins, sliced banana, chutney and coconut.


8 Responses to “Traditional bobotie recipe”

  1. Stuart Parker

    Gave this a go last night and it was fantastic. For someone who is still learning their way through the kitchen, I found it really easy to follow.

    I’m looking forward to finding more exciting recipe’s on the Getaway Blog site.

    • Michelle Parkin

      Hi Stuart

      Thank you for the comment and apologies for the delayed reply!
      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, it is one of my favourites and a totally underrated dish in my humble opinion.

      Hope it becomes part of your dinner repertoire!

      Take care,

  2. Jasper Hulley

    Baboti is one of my favourites. Instead of milk/buttermilk and eggs, try Sour Cream and Buttermilk in equal quantities and one egg. I have found this to work well. I will try the apricot jam next time.

  3. shams

    was looking for a traditional recipe…I like the idea of egg and buttermilk mixture on top”…. I am going to try it now.. watch this space….

  4. Allison

    Balanced flavors lovely dish. Next time I will use more curry/chilli to make a bit more spicey.

  5. Frankie van Rensburg

    Bobotie is traditionally made with lamb or mutton. If you use beef then it is called beef bobotie. I always add a handful of sultanas (or raisins) to the mixture as well as some of the egg/milk mixture.

  6. sebastian

    watching Come Dine with Me S1E6 and the lady did bobotie. im sure its been over 5years since ive had it. will definitely be trying the recipe above in the week


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