African Day 2010 – Bobotie

Africa Day logoFirst of all, I will like to thank Casey of Eating, Garden & Living in Bulgaria for organising an African Day event to learn and experience the African culture through food.

I love Moroccan cuisine.  The colours of the food is very bold to match their aromatic spices. As usual, I like to take myself out of the comfort zone and also wanted to make sure of this opportunity to explore other African foods.



Bobotie is the national dish of South Africa. And it is easy to understand why. It has all the characteristics of the culture also greatly influenced by the Indonesians, the Dutch and the English. It is savory and sweet. It is colourful and texturally very interesting with the dried fruits, the nuts and the egg ‘custard’ topping.

Base of oven dish

Prepped base of the oven dish

I searched Google and adapted this recipe from 3 sources – Waitrose, Taste & Hub UK. And interesting read about this dish on wiki.


  • 700g of minced beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 apple, cored and cubed
  • 3tsp of curry powder
  • 2tsp of cumin
  • 2tsp of ginger powder
  • 2tsp of ground coriander
  • 100g dried apricot
  • 1 egg
  • 40g of sliced almonds
  • 50g of cashew nuts
  • 30g of pinenuts
  • 2tbsp of chutney
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 500ml of full cream milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2tsp of tumeric
  • Salt and pepper to season

I added bits of chutney on top of the mixture as well to create a little colour contrast.

Beef mixture

Beef mixture

I did go a little crazy with the nuts. I know it is probably not authentic to have so many different types but I thought it might work as little ‘surprises’. Plus, I wanted to use up most of my nuts collection to get new ones!

Egg mixture on bobotie

Egg mixture on beef


  1. Heat up the oil in a pan. Add the onions first and cook until translucent. Then add the apples and cook till soft.
  2. Add the minced beef and pan fry it for at least 3 minutes. Add 1 egg, curry powder, coriander powder, ginger and cumin and combine well. Cook till the beef is almost ready, add the dried raisins, toasted almonds, cashew and pine nuts. Stir through the chutney and combine well again. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon juice and give it a quick stir. Set aside
  3. Pre heat oven to 170C. Prepare the oven dish by placing 2 bay leaves, 2 orange wheels and 2 lemon wheels on the base. Scoop the beef mixture into the oven dish. Press it so that it is compact. Slice the rest of the orange wheels into halves and place it on the sides of the oven dish
  4. Prepare the custard. Beat 2 eggs, 500ml of milk and 1/2 tsp of tumeric together. Season the mixture. Pour this mixture over the beef. Place 3 bay leaves on top of the mixture. Goes into the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until the egg is cooked.

This dish is recommended to serve hot with yellow rice that is mixed through with dried raisins. I had a thought. We could even serve it with yellow rice and red jewels of pomegranate! What do you think?

Baked bobotie

Baked bobotie

Bobotie is indeed a very interesting dish. I shared this dish during a dinner party at my place. And I believe it was well received. Everyone was intrigued and pleasantly surprised with the fruitiness of the dish and also how it worked so well in a savory dish. Every mouthful is a surprise. Will I get an apple or almond? The meat is very moist and there is no need for additional fats as seen in other recipes.

Will I make this again? I will and now that I know how, I will make variations of it.

What is your National dish?