Bobotie (South African Curried Meat Casserole)

READY IN: 1hr 45mins
Recipe by Nif_H

Bobotie is a very old South African dish with probable origins in Indonesia or Malaysia. The name derives from the Indonesian "bobotok," and the dish was likely adapted by Dutch traders and brought back to the region around Cape Town. Every South African cook has his or her own favorite version of this dish, some very simple, others quite elaborate. Bobotie is typically served with Geelrys (South African Yellow Rice With Raisins) and a side of mango chutney.

Top Review by Elmotoo

Oooh yeah, my kind of recipe! I followed the recipe, sort of. I cooked it in my cast iron skillet then thought, "why dirty another dish to mix it up?" & added the other ingredients to the pan off heat. THEN I thought, "why dirty another pan when this one is bakeproof?" so I added the bay leaves & stuck it in the oven. It was recommended to use apricot jam instead of sugar & that might add a nicer sweetness than the sugar. *I* think it could have used more curry powder. Darned few leftovers! Made for My 3 Chefs & African Tag 10/2013. xo Bethie<br/>p.s I saw one of the variations was to add eggs to the meat - I would do this next time because it was very crumbly & didn't hold together for cutting/serving. But very yummy. :)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 -3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 -3 slices white bread, crust removed and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 14 cup vinegar or 14 cup lemon juice
  • 12 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 -2 tablespoon curry powder, to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 5 fresh bay leaves (if using dry, remove before adding egg topping)
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and just starting to brown. Add the ground beef and break it up while sautéing until cooked through and crumbly. Remove from heat, drain of any excess fat and place in a large bowl.
  2. Put the bread and milk in a bowl and soak for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bread and squeeze it dry, leaving squeezed milk back in the bowl and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F Add the soaked bread, vinegar or lemon juice, raisins, sugar, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper to the bowl with the cooked meat and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. The meat should have a pleasantly sweet-sour flavor.
  4. Pour the meat mixture into a greased casserole dish and smooth out the top. Lay the bay leaves over the meat in a decorative pattern and press down lightly to make them stick. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs with the reserved bread-soaking milk. After the meat has baked for 30 minutes, pour the egg-milk mixture over the top of the meat and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the custard is set and lightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve hot with Recipe #456514 and mango chutney.
  8. Add a couple tablespoons of mango chutney or apricot preserves to the meat if you like. A grated apple is also sometimes added.
  9. Stir a handful of toasted, slivered almonds into the meat mixture before cooking, or garnish the finished dish with toasted almonds.
  10. One or two beaten eggs can also be stirred into the meat mixture if you like.
  11. Substitute lemon leaves for the bay leaves if you can find them.
  12. Use ground lamb in place of the beef.

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