Bobotie Recipe


Bobotie (pronounced boh-boo-tea) is popular in various cultures in South Africa, so much so that it’s practically a national dish. Cape Malay inspired, it’s a spicy creation made with minced ostrich, beef, or lentils and baked with a savoury custard topping. This particular recipe uses ostrich mince.

Many South Africans will tell you that no true bobotie dish would be the same without Mrs Balls Chutney. It’s the ideal South African condiment to complete the meal. We add a dash of crème fraiche to ours. Incidentally, chutney or “chatni” is a Hindu word for a piquant sauce from India. It comes in various forms but is usually made with a fruit, sugar and vinegar base.

Recipe by: Gold Restaurant

Serves: 8

Difficulty: Moderate

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 1 ½ hours



T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon

  • 5 g butter 45 ml (3 T) vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1kg good quality ostrich mince
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 10 ml (2 t) roasted masala
  • 5 ml (1 t) turmeric
  • 2 T flaked almonds
  • 2 slices (1½ cups) dry white bread, crumbled
  • 60 ml (4 T) full cream milk
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 ml (1 t) salt
  • 5 ml (1 t) ground black pepper
  • 100 g dried apricots, chopped (or 2 T smooth apricot jam
  • 1 large apple peeled (preferably Granny Smith for it’s tart flavour), cored and finely chopped
  • 60 ml (4 T) sultanas
  • 6 bay leaves (or orange or lemon leaves)

Savoury custard topping:

  • 250 ml (1 cup) full cream milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ml (½ t) salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and fry until glassy. Add the ostrich mince and lightly fry until sealed. Stir in the garlic, roasted masala, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes until the meat is tender.
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs, milk, finely grated lemon rind and lemon juice, egg, apricots, apple, sultanas, and almonds. Mix into the mince.
  4. Place the mixture in a shallow casserole dish and press down firmly and evenly with a potato masher. Roll up the bay leaves and bury them in the babotie at regular intervals. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes until the babotie mixture is firm.
  5. Remove from oven.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C.
  7. Whisk together the topping ingredients – milk, eggs, and salt to form a custard and pour over the babotie. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes until a light, golden brown.

Serve hot with rice and chutney.

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