Bobotie is a Cape Malay dish from the Western Cape region. As part of Cape Malay cuisine, this aromatic meal draws inspiration from Indonesian and European ingredients.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Cuisine South African

Servings 4



  • 3 slices bread
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions large
  • 4 tsp curry powder medium
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs oregano, basil, marjoram
  • 0.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 0.5 cup fruit chutney
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 4 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 eggs large
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Soak the bread in 1 cup of the milk
  • Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook until soft
  • Add the curry powder, mixed herbs, cumin, turmeric and garlic, and stirring constantly, allow to cook for a minute or two until the garlic is soft
  • Add the ground beef, and cook, stirring frequently to break up any big chunks, until browned
  • Once the beef is browned, remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the chutney, apricot jam, all the lemon zest, half the lemon juice, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, give it a taste, and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as desired. It should be delightfully zingy!
  • Squeeze the milk from the bread, reserving the milk for later, and smooshing and tearing the bread into small pieces. Mix the bread into the beef mixture, and spread evenly into an oven proof dish
  • Strain the milk that has come from the bread, and add the remaining ½ cup of milk. Beat in the eggs, and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the meat, and decoratively scatter the bay leaves on top
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until golden brown


Recipe from Taste of the Place

Use whole grain bread to boost fibre, B vitamins, and mineral intake. Look out for ingredient lists that start with “whole”, such as whole grain wheat flour, whole rye, whole oat.