Bobotie: A South African Minced Beef Pie

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A South African minced beef dish with an Asian influence. The best of both worlds! Serve for lunch or dinner with turmeric rice and mango chutney.

Bobotie is a delicious dish that history says was brought to the Cape in South Africa either by the Dutch traders who had visited Asia or by people from Indonesia and Malaysia who were slaves, exiles, or political refugees of the Dutch East Indies in the 17th century. The descendants of these people lived mainly in Cape Town and this community is called Cape Malay. They were the first influence of Islam in South Africa. The word Bobotie is actually a Malay word. This Asian minced meat dish is both delicious and comforting and is also now considered the national dish of South Africa.

This spicy and sweet meaty dish is an easy go-to dish to serve to your dinner party guests to impress. This is a beautiful mixture of African food meeting Asian food. The contrast of the savoury meat mixed with the sweet sultanas and the spicy curry powder is a match made in heaven! Round this off with the famous “Mrs. Balls Chutney” and you will bring South Africa straight into your dining room, just like the oxtail potjiekos does.

What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Bobotie?

In order to make Bobotie, you will need slices of white bread, onions, butter, garlic cloves, lean minced beef, curry powder, turmeric powder, mango chutney, sultanas, almonds, salt and pepper, juice of a lemon, and milk and eggs, salt and pepper for the topping.

How To Make Bobotie?

Start off with soaking the bread in a bowl with a little bit of the milk and set aside.

Add milk to slice bread.
Soak the bread in milk

Fry the onions in the butter in a large frying pan. Fry for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and light brown.

On a frying pan saute butter and diced onion.
Fry the onions in butter
Let the onion cook in butter till it turns transparent.
Butter and onions

Add in the garlic, fry for a few minutes before adding in the mince. Break the mince up whilst it cooks.

Add mince to the fry pan and let it cook.
Break the mince into smaller bits

Add in the chutney, turmeric powder, curry powder, and also the sultanas and almonds. Cook for another 10 minutes till the mince is cooked through.

Add spices and chutney to the mince and let it cook.
Add spices and chutney
Add the sultanas, almonds and spices to the mince cooking in the pan.
Add the sultanas, almonds and spices

Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and break the bread into small pieces.

Crumble the soaked bread in a bowl.
Crumble the bread

Add the bread to the mince and mix it through thoroughly.

Mix the crumbled bread with mince getting cooked in a pan.
Mix the bread with the mince

Put the eggs in the milk. Add some salt and pepper to season and beat the mixture well.

Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper mixture in a bowl.
Eggs, milk, salt and pepper mixture

Put the mince mixture into the ovenproof dish. Pour over the milk mixture and place it into the oven.

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Place the cooked mince to a baking tray and pour egg mixture.
Pour the mixture onto the mince

Add the bay leaves on the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is no longer runny and brown on top.

Let the mince and egg mixture settle together in a baking tray.
Cover with milk mixture and bay leaves
Add bay leaves to the mixture.
We made a fleur de lis pattern

And your Bobotie is ready to serve! Looks delicious, doesn’t it? Let’s dive right in.

Baked Bobotie ready to eat.
Doesn’t the Bobotie look lush
Dig for a slice of baked Bobotie.
Digging in
Slice of Bobotie ready to serve.
A slice of bobotie

What to serve with Bobotie?

Traditionally, South African bobotie was served with yellow rice with sultanas, sliced bananas, and chutney.

Serve with some turmeric rice and the all-important “Mrs. Balls Chutney” (famous in South Africa but also available in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand). You can also serve with a side of veggies, greens, tomatoes, pickled garlic, or a salad.

This mince curried bobotie pie also go perfectly with some homemade currant wine.

Serve South African Bobotie with rice and chutney.
Serve with rice and chutney
Baked Bobotie ready to eat.

Bobotie: South African Mince Curried Pie

Soz & Aaron
A South African minced beef dish with an Asian influence, the bobotie is the best of both worlds! Serve for lunch or dinner with turmeric rice and chutney.
4.80 out of 5 Stars by 5 readers!

Click the stars to add your rating! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine South African
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 484 kcal
meat icon on Abbysplate website.
No added sugar icon on Abbysplate website.


  • 2 slices White Bread
  • 2 Onions Chopped
  • 25 g Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves or Garlic Flakes Crushed
  • 1 kg Minced Beef Lean
  • 2 Tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Tablespoon Mango Chutney It has to be "Mrs. Balls Chutney" when we're in South Africa.
  • 125 g Sultanas
  • 6 Almonds Cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon Salt To taste
  • 2 teaspoon Pepper Powder To taste
  • 1 Lemon Juice

For the Topping

  • 300 ml Milk
  • 2 Eggs Large
  • Salt As per taste
  • Pepper Powder As per taste
  • 5 Bay Leaves


  • In a pan, pour a bit of the milk over the bread slices and set aside to soak.
  • Then fry the onions in the butter, stirring regularly for 10 mins until they are soft and start to brown.
  • Add in the garlic and minced beef and stir well.
  • Add the curry powder, turmeric, mango chutney, sultanas and the almonds with 1 tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper.
  • Mix well and cover, simmer for 10 mins.
  • Squeeze the milk from the bread, break the bread into fine pieces and add to the meat mixture.
  • Add the juice of the lemon 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.

For the milk custard topping

  • Add eggs to the milk, beat the milk and eggs with seasoning i.e pepper and salt, then pour over the meat.
  • Heat the oven to 180C. Bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.
  • And your Bobotie is ready to serve.

Please click to rate the recipe! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!


  • Soak the bread in the milk before you start with the other ingredients.
  • You can cook the minced meat a day in advance and bake it the next day.
  • Usually made with beef mince, you can also use pork, lamb, or chicken for a modern twist.

Stuff You Might Want to Use

All Natural Slate Cutting Board
King Arthur Baking - Country Bread Knife
The Fry Family
Stainless Steel Spoon
Baking Tray
Mrs. Balls Chutney (South African)
Bay Leaves

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

This printable recipe card is for home use only. For more recipes head over to
Serve South African Bobotie dinner with rice and veggies.
South African Bobotie dinner

Cooking Tips And Tricks

  • Soak the bread in milk before you start with the other ingredients.
  • You can cook the minced meat a day in advance and bake the next day.
  • Usually made with beef mince, you can also use pork, lamb or chicken for a modern twist.
  • Serve with some traditional South African melktert for dessert!
  • Other beef recipes you can try are the corned tongue, beef roast or corned beef.
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Common Questions About Making Bobotie

What Is Bobotie?

Bobotie is a Malay word, it is a famous dish in South Africa made from spicy minced meat and sweet sultanas with a topping of egg and served with yellow rice and chutney.

What To Serve With Bobotie?

You can serve Bobotie with turmeric rice and sultanas and chutney. You can also have a side of green veggies or a tomato salad or sliced bananas.

What Is “Mrs. Balls Chutney”?

“Mrs. Balls Chutney” is a famous South African chutney that originated in 1852. It was a family recipe and is also known to have survived a shipwreck.

How Long Can I Store Bobotie?

You can store Bobotie for about 3 days in a refrigerator or 2 months in a freezer in an air-tight container.

Can Bobotie Be Re-Heated?

Yes, Bobotie is a perfect dish for reheating. The quantity is large so it definitely remains for the next meal and can be re-heated.

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Pinterest image of Bobotie served with rice.
Pinterest images of adding egg mixture to the mince and cutting a slice of ready Bobotie.
Pinterest images of cutting slices of baked Bobotie and mince getting cooked.

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