Bobotie meatloaf recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef mince

Bobotie is the South African version of meatloaf. If you don't own a cast-iron pan that can go from the hob to the oven, cook everything in a frying pan first, then transfer to a baking dish.

London, England, UK

8 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 slices dry white bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 4 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200ml milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr15min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Place bread in a bowl, pour in cold water to cover and leave to soak.
  3. Melt butter in a cast-iron pan and fry onions until translucent. Add mince and garlic and cook for a few minutes breaking up the meat with a spoon. Stir in chilli paste, mint, thyme, cloves, allspice, mango chutney, raisins and bay leaves. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Squeeze bread until dry and add to the meat. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Even it out with a spatula or, if using a regular frying pan, transfer to a baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together milk and eggs and pour the mixture over the meat.
  6. Put roasting pan into oven and bake until egg is set and the meatloaf is browned, 35 to 40 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (1)

Have made bobotie using another receipe for years, this one is very very good.-18 Mar 2018

Bobotie (Lamb Meatloaf)

2 slices white bread
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup raisins
2 eggs
12 blanched almonds, coarsely
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon turmeric
cooked white rice (opt)
chutney (opt)

Beef Bobotie

Bobotie has been recognized as South Africa's national dish. With influences introduced by the spices of Cape Malay cooking, the medieval culinary practices of the Dutch settlers to the indigenous practices of rearing and eating beef, it is no wonder that this melting pot is the rainbow nation's national dish.​

There are many ways of making bobotie and a vast variety of recipes can be found on the net that at times it is difficult to tell which is the most authentic bobotie. A traditional bobotie is said to have 6 key elements which influence the flavor, cooking technique, and consistency of the dish. These are curry spice, cinnamon, jam, raisins, bread soaked in milk, and bay leaves. The result should be a balance between spicy and sweet, however, the sweetness should never overpower the dish.

Some people have described it as a type of meatloaf, or a dish not dissimilar to moussaka. The consistency of the bobotie varies from being a stiff meatloaf type of result to a more softer mincemeat sauce type of consistency. Traditionally, it is a meat dish made with minced beef, lamb, or even ostrich.

As people's preferences for specialized diets have grown, there are also vegetarian and vegan alternatives for this dish. It is custom to serve bobotie with spicy yellow rice, but any type of plain rice or a mildly seasoned pilau rice will go very well with bobotie.

Easy Bobotie Recipe | South African Meat Dish

Gently spiced ground meat is sweetened with chutney and raisins, and topped with a creamy egg custard. It is then baked until the topping is set. Garnish bobotie with almonds and bay leaves.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 1 x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: South African


  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 1/4 cups (560ml) whole milk
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) ground beef, lamb, pork or a mixture
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 4 tablespoons raisins
  • 4 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 2 peeled, cored and diced apples
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
  • 4 bay leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  2. Tear the bread into pieces and soak it in half the milk.
  3. Cook the meat and onion in a nonstick skillet until the meat is browned.
  4. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the tomato concentrate, raisins, mango chutney, soaked bread and milk, and apple.
  6. Grind in some salt and black pepper.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a large ovenproof dish and cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes then discard the foil cover.
  9. Mix the rest of the milk with the eggs and pour this over the top.
  10. Add the nuts and bay leaves and cook for 30 minutes more.


Once the bobotie has cooled down, it can be sealed and frozen for up to 6 months. I like to make my easy bobotie recipe in 2 batches and freeze it in portions.


Preheat the over to 160°C (325°F) and butter a 22cm diameter oven-proof baking dish

1. Chop bread roughly into cubes, put in a bowl and cover with water to soak

2. Add all the dry spices together to a bowl and mix

3. Add all the flavourings together in a bowl and mix

4. Add oil to large frypan and gently fry garlic and ginger

5. Add onion to the frypan and saute till translucent.

6. Add ground meat and fry until just done

7. Squeeze water out of bread and add to meat

8. Add all the dry spices and gently stir

9. Stir in all the Flavourings and simmer for 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste

10. Pour meat mixture into baking dish and press down well and smooth the top. You can make it to this point one day ahead and and refrigerate.

11. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes covered with foil

12. Mix the milk and egg together in a jug then add the bay leaves, salt and pepper

13. After the meat is cooked, take it out of the oven and gently pour the topping over the cooked meat

14. Add the dish back into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes until the custard top is set

Bobotie Meatloaf recipe

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
30 ml (2 T) Pakco Masala Traditional Curry Powder
10 ml (2 t) garam masala powder
juice of one lemon
30 ml (2 T) Rhodes Quality Apricot Jam
500 g lean beef mince
125 ml (½ C) sultanas
65 ml (¼ C) fresh breadcrumbs
3 eggs, divided
salt and coarsely ground black pepper
4 bay leaves
125 ml (½ C) milk
2.5 ml (½ t) ground turmeric
To serve: toasted almonds and yellow rice

How to
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until soft.

Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes more.

Add the Pakco Masala Traditional Curry Powder, garam masala, lemon juice and Rhodes Quality Apricot Jam.

Simmer for a few minutes and then cool slightly.

Place the beef mince in a large bowl.

Add the onion mixture, sultanas, breadcrumbs and 2 of the eggs.

Mix well until all ingredients are evenly blended.

Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the mince into a loaf tin that has been lined with baking paper and press the bay leaves lightly into the top.

Whisk together the milk, remaining egg and turmeric and season to taste.

Pour the milk mixture over the mince and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C for 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the mince cooked through.

Bobotie comes in a number of varieties and textures.

While beef is the most common meat used, you can find cooks who get inventive like this pork sausage bobotie. Some versions are cooked into a stiff meatloaf texture, while others are more like a soft ground meat stew.

The spices used define the flavor of the dish. In particular, mild curry and turmeric set the tone. Onions and garlic bring the flavors together.

Dried fruit, jam or chutney, and a few shavings of almonds give sweetness and texture to the meal.

To hold the meat together, bread, soaked in milk, is incorporated into the meat.

The meat mixture bakes for up to 40 minutes until firm, before adding the egg topping and baking for and additional 15 minutes, or until set.

The bay leaves rested on top impart their tea-like fragrance.

Idaho® Potato South African Curried Meatloaf (Bobotie)

Download Hi-Res Recipe Photo


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup instant Idaho® mashed potatoes
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk or almond milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon mild or hot curry powder
  • 2 large eggs slightly beaten, divided
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the onion mixture, turkey, potatoes, 1/4 cup of milk, curry powder, one egg, raisins, almonds, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  4. Place the turkey mixture in the loaf pan and smooth the top.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining milk, egg, and salt. Pour the mixture over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour or until the custard is set and the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160° F. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 6 servings
Calories: 238
Sugar: 7 g
Sodium: 282 mg
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Carbs: 15 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 20 g
Cholesterol: 116 mg

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Bobotie Recipe

Lynn Bedford Hall
South African Chef

My favorite bobotie recipe is by South African chef Lynn Bedford Hall. This is her version, which I refer to time and time again in a well-thumbed cookbook on my kitchen shelf.


1 thick slice of white or brown bread

1 tbsp each smooth apricot jam, Worcester sauce and turmeric

Best of Cooking in South Africa by Lynn Bedford Hall


First, remove the crusts and soak the bread in the milk. Next, heat the oil and butter in a large pan and fry the onions and garlic. When the onions soften, add the curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar. Mix well.

Drain, mash bread and reserve the milk. Add the bread to the pan together with the meat and sultanas. Cook over a low heat, stirring, and when meat begins to turn brown, remove from heat.

Add 1 beaten egg, mix well, then spoon into a greased 12 x 16 in baking dish and level the top. Beat the remaining eggs with the reserved milk (you should have about 10 fl oz) and the salt and turmeric.

Pour over the liquid over the 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.

Finally, bake the bobotie uncovered at 350 F, gas 4, for 1 hour or until set. Serve it with rice, coconut, chutney, nuts and bananas.

South Africa’s Bobotie

Are you ready for a big bite of everything, ever?

South Africa’s Bobotie (ba-boor-tea) reminds me of when I was a little girl, playing in the kitchen next to mom. I’d dump every possible ingredient into my little inventions, hoping they’d come out amazing. While chopped apples and pickles didn’t pan out when I was a kid, bobotie most decidedly does.

But don’t worry – there’s no apple or pickle in it.

Landscape scenery in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo by Nicolas Raymond.

Some people call Bobotie South African Moussaka, but I’m not convinced that gives the dish enough credit. My friend Janine says Bobotie is from the Cape Malay region and belies much more Indian influence.

At her most basic, Bobotie is a spiced meat casserole topped with egg custard and a few bay leaves. Inside, you’ll find everything from rich curry power, to garlic, ginger, lemon juice, raisins, and almonds. There’s even a scoop of chutney.

While this all sounds incredibly overwhelming, the ingredients mellow as they cook. Still not sure? Trust years of history: there’s a reason South Africans love this dish so much.

Traditionally, the meat is cooked over a charcoal grill, then placed in an underground oven to bake out the custard.

Now a days, bobotie is more often made in regular ovens.

Either way, it tastes like happiness. Times a hundred.

Fills one cast iron pan or small casserole


1 slice white bread
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 lemon, juiced & zested
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in a little warm water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 spoonful mango chutney (in a pinch, apricot jam may be substituted)
salt & pepper

milk (from soaking bread)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp turmeric

First find a gorgeous vista to cook by. Let it be your muse.

Chapman’s Peak is a mountain and famous drive on the western side of the Cape Peninsula, 15 km south of Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Hein Waschefort.

Then, preheat the oven to 350F.

Soak the bread in milk. Set it aside.

Meanwhile, fry onion, ginger and garlic in butter until softened and beginning to brown.

Now you have a choice to make.

You can just keep adding ingredients to the pan, frying and cooking and stirring until it’s a happy mess…

… or do what I did, and treat it like meatloaf.

It’s a little unconventional (a.k.a. not traditional), but I tried it both ways and found the flavors got into the meat better with this method (and it makes the almonds a bit softer).

It’s really easy… In a large bowl, mix beef, curry, lemon juice, zest, raisins, almonds, chutney, salt, pepper, and the soaked bread (squeeze it dry first and be sure to reserve the milk). You can add in the cooled onion mixture, too.

Use your hands to really mash it around, until everything is evenly distributed.

Now fry it up in a hot pan, using more butter as needed. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings. I added a little extra chutney… just because.

Once you’re happy with the flavor, prepare the custard. Simply whisk the eggs into the reserved milk with a bit of turmeric, salt,and pepper. Pour over the meat mixture.

Bake about 20 minutes, or until the egg is set.

Meanwhile, take a stroll in your garden (or any garden) and listen to the birds.

They might have a secret to tell you.

Let cool for about 15 minutes, then slice and serve with yellow rice and a smile.

Have you ever made anything like bobotie? What did you think of it? If not, do you see yourself making this in the future? Why or why not?