Anna Carolina Alberts serves up a smorgasbord of treats from her Afrikaans heritage in Butter & Love. Pictures: Craig Fraser
Anna Carolina Alberts serves up a smorgasbord of treats from her Afrikaans heritage in Butter & Love. Pictures: Craig Fraser

RECIPES: Three ways to make bobotie

By Lifestyle reporter Time of article published Apr 17, 2020

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I recall when South Africans found out that bobotie was our national dish. The Cape-Malay dish was selected for an international recipe book published that was published in 1951 by the United Nations Organisation.

So when more people found out about the popular dish's status in the food world, there was outrage on the streets of social media.

 Who killed 7 colors and made bobotie our national dish?

But say what you will about bobotie, it still is very much an indigenous South African dish and one of the best we have given the food world. 

So while it might not be the choice of many when it comes to choosing which dish best represents South Africa cuisine, it's still one of the meals you should eat when you are in the country, especially in the Cape region.

The colder months are here and it's when bobotie is most enjoyable. It's a comfort meal that many turn to during winter. 

So here are three great recipes to try out. 

No-raisin beef bobotie with curry leaves (serves 6)

Spier Wine Farm's shared their version of the traditional recipe for you to try at home. A little less sweet and more towards the savoury side, this recipe will pair best with a crisp white wine like the Spier Signature Chenin Blanc. 


2tbs vegetable oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely grated

1tbs fresh ginger, finely grated

4tspn mild curry powder

1tspn ground turmeric

1tspn ground coriander

1tspn ground cumin

1 kg lean beef mince

salt & black pepper to taste

30 ml lemon juice

60 ml fruit chutney

30 ml Worcestershire sauce

30 ml tomato paste

2 slices white bread, soaked in water

125 ml milk

1 x egg

12 curry leaves (fresh or dried)


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Fry until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 30 seconds.

Add the curry powder, turmeric, coriander and cumin, and fry, stirring, for a minute. 

Divide the beef mince into 3 batches and add 1 batch at a time, turning up the heat to high and stirring after each addition and waiting for the meat to change colour from pink to grey (do not brown) before adding more.

When all the meat has changed colour, season generously with salt & pepper, then add the lemon juice, chutney, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and soaked bread (break up the bread into chunks - it will continue to break down while cooking).

Stir well, then turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid. 

Cook slowly for 25 minutes, scraping the bottom often to prevent burning. In the meantime, pre-heat your oven to 180 °C.

In a medium jug, mix the milk and egg well and season with salt & pepper.

When the meat mixture is ready, transfer it to a suitable deep baking dish and smooth the top evenly. Pour over the milky egg mixture and dot all over with curry leaves.

Bake at 180 °C for 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.

Remove and serve hot with rice, fresh coriander, toasted coconut, chutney and tomato salsa (or your choice of sambals). 

Cape Malay Bobotie


2 slices white bread (preferably a couple of days old)

30 ml cooking oil

1 large chopped onion

2 ml ground cloves

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

salt to taste (approx 5ml)

10ml curry powder

5ml turmeric

500g minced meat (lamb or beef)

1 egg

20ml lemon juice

30ml sugar

6 bay leaves

For the topping:

2 large eggs

300ml milk


Preheat oven to 180C. Pour cold water to cover over the bread and set aside to soak.

Meanwhile fry onions in oil until they are soft and starting to colour, 10 minutes. Add cloves, garlic, salt, curry powder, 2 of the bay leaves and turmeric and simmer for 5 minutes adding 30 ml water if necessary.

In a separate bowl combine the minced meat with the onion mixture, eggs, lemon juice and sugar. Squeeze the water from the bread and mix until well blended.

Tip into an oval ovenproof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep). Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.

For the topping, beat the milk and eggs, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.

Serve with almond yellow rice and mango chutney.

All Gold Jam Bobotie (Serves 6)

Warm up this winter with this South African favourite Picture: All Gold


45 ml (3 tbsp) oil
2 onions, chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) crushed garlic
500 g minced beef
2 slices bread, crusts removed
250 ml (1 cup) milk
15 ml (1 tbsp) curry powder
10 ml (2 tsp) masala
15 ml Mrs Balls Chutney
10 ml vinegar
 5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
50 ml ALL GOLD Skweezi Apricot & Peach Jam
65 ml (¼ cup) seedless raisins
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
6 bay leaves

Heat oil and fry onions and garlic until transparent.

Add minced beef, cook for 10 minutes until brown.

Place bread in a bowl and cover with milk.

Soak for 5 minutes.

Squeeze bread and reserve the milk.

Add bread to mince, together with spices and ALL GOLD Skweezi Apricot & Peach Jam, chutney and vinegar.

Cook for a further 10 minutes.

Spoon mixture into individual ovenproof bowls or 1 large rectangular ovenproof dish.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 180 °C.

Mix together reserved milk and eggs.

Remove Bobotie from oven and pour milk mixture over.

Top with bay leaves.

Return to oven and bake for a further 15 minutes at 180 °C until custard has set.

Serve warm over rice or with a salad.

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