The National Dish of South Africa

Bobotie (Afrikaans: [bəˈbuəti]) is a well-known South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.

Today we will prepare this hearty meal for our family and serve it with traditional South African sides and the imperative bottle of red wine!

Next week we are off on our South African adventure and am hoping to come back with many memories and recipes! 

  • Bobotie

    2 slices white bread
    2 onions, chopped
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    600g minced beef, veal or lamb
    1.5 tbsp curry powder
    3 cloves
    5 allspice berries
    2 tbsp mango chutney or fruits jam ( I used homemade apple jam)
    3 tbsp raisins
    2 tbsp sliced almond
    6 bay leaves

    100cc milk
    50cc cooking cream
    1 egg
    1/4 tsp salt

  • Sambal Salad

    1/2 sweet onion , thinly sliced
    4 tomatoes , sliced
    1⁄2 cucumber , sliced
    1 green chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
    2 tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vingegar
    1 tsp caster sugar
    1 tsp salt

  • Yellow Rice

    4.5dl basmati rice
    5dl water
    50g butter
    1 tbsp caster sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
    1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
    1/2 tsp ground turmeric or curry powder
    5 tbsp raisins

kumnandi! (delicious in Zulu)

The history of bobotie

Jul. 26, 2019


The exact origin of the dish remains fuzzy to this day. However, it is documented that the Dutch settlers brought a similar dish with them to South Africa in the 17th century. The recipe was adopted especially by the Cape Malay community and was then adjusted to use the spices and ingredients locally available. The word bobotie supposedly comes from the Malayan word ‘boemboe’, meaning ‘curry spices’. Given the exotic flavour of the dish, this would make sense.

Jul. 29, 2019

Heat oven to 350F. Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak.

Meanwhile, fry the onions in the oil, stirring regularly for 10 mins until they are soft and starting to color.

Add the garlic and minced meat and stir well until it changes color.

Stir in the curry powder, spices, chutney, raisins, sliced almonds and 2 of the bay leaves with 1 tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 mins.

Squeeze the water from the bread.

Beat bread into the meat mixture until well blended. Tip into an oval ovenproof dish. Press the mixture down well and smooth the top.

For the topping, beat the milk and eggs with salt, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 50 – 60 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.