It's no wonder bobotie is considered one of the national dishes of South Africa. Spiced minced meat topped with a creamy layer of egg custard ticks all the boxes. This recipe calls for Mrs H. S. Ball's chutney which is a South African treasure and is available from large supermarkets.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (140 votes)


  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted  
  • ½ tsp ground allspice  
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 knob ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 1 piece fresh turmeric root, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • ½ long green chilli, sliced 
  • 2 small hot chillies
  • 2 slices bread
  • 125 ml (½ cup) milk
  • 50 ml vegetable oil 
  • 2 onions, finely chopped, or 6 French shallots, thinly sliced
  • 500 g coarsely ground beef mince  
  • 500 g coarsely ground lamb mince  
  • 1 green apple, peeled and finely diced 
  • 1 tbsp Mrs H. S. Ball’s Original Recipe Chutney, plus extra to serve 
  • 75 g raisins, soaked in warm water, drained
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 large eggs 
  • 200 ml milk 
  • 4 fresh bay leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 20 minutes

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Use a mortar and pestle to ground the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, allspice and salt to a powder. Add the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, garlic and chillies, and pound until a fine paste forms.

Soak the bread in the milk for about 10 minutes, then strain and fluff up bread up with a fork.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until soft. Add the spiced chilli paste and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, then add the beef and lamb cook, stirring to break up any lumps, for 8 minutes, or until browned. 

Add the apple, chutney, raisins, lemon juice and mashed bread. Season with salt and pepper and spoon into a shallow baking dish.

To make the topping, whisk together the eggs and milk and pour over the meat. Place the bay leaves on top and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until custard is just set.

Remove from the oven and stand for 10 minutes to allow the custard to finish cooking. Serve with yellow rice and condiments, such as Mrs H. S. Ball’s Chutney, freshly grated coconut dressed with lime juice, or peeled and sliced pisang (small, thin-skinned bananas).