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Bobotie one of the oldest and most delicious recipes in Cape cuisine.



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

2 Tbsp cooking oil

1 large chopped onion

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp crushed garlic

salt to taste (approx 5ml)

3 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

500g minced meat (lamb or beef)

1 large egg

2 Tbsp lemon juice

6 bay leaves

For the topping:

3 large eggs

1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Pour cold water to cover over the bread and set aside to soak.
Meanwhile fry onions in oil until they  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 2 Tbsp water if necessary to prevent the onions from sticking. 
In a seperate 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 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.
Bake the Bobotie in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. At this stage I take a fork and just ever so slightly scrape the top to even it. Mix the eggs and milk together and pour the mixture over the Bobotie. 
Return it to the oven and bake grill a further 5 -10 minutes until the egg mixture has cooked and the top of the Bobotie and a beautiful golden brown colour. 
Serve with almond yellow rice, braised rice, vegetables and mango chutney. 


– Add a couple tablespoons of mango chutney or apricot preserves to the meat if you like. A grated apple is also sometimes added.

– Stir a handful of toasted, slivered almonds into the meat mixture before cooking, or garnish the finished dish with toasted almonds.

– One or two beaten eggs can also be stirred into the meat mixture if you like.

– Substitute lemon leaves for the bay leaves if you can find them.