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Bobotie is an African food that is soft and very easy on the teeth. Bobotie originated from South Africa, and it is similar to western meatloaf, but its African flavors make it tastier than meatloaf. A delicious mixture of slightly sweet curry flavors, ground beef, with a milk and egg custard on it makes Bobotie just perfect.



2 slices white bread

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ½ pounds ground beef

2 medium onions

1 cup milk

1½ tablespoons curry powder

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tomato

½ sugar

1 tablespoon breyani spices

1 apple

1 tablespoon lemon rind

½ cup seedless raisin

1 egg

1 tablespoon apricot jam

Salt (to taste)

12-15 almonds (whole or split) blanched


1 egg

1/3 teaspoon turmeric

Before Cooking

Wash and cut the beef. Peel and chop the tomato, peeled and coarsely grate the apple and grate the lemon rind. If you are using breyani spices, crush the breyani.

Note that breyani spice is not easy to find but if you can it work wonders in Bobotie. If you can’t find Breyani, the mixture of some of these spices or all can serve the breyani purpose. Spices that you could process or mix yourself include: cumin, pimento, berries, cardamom, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds.

Cooking Steps

Set oven at 350 degrees F/175 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a 9*13-inch-baking dish.

In a small bowl, tear up the slices of the bread, pour half cup of the milk and leave the bread pieces to soak up the milk.

Pour the vegetable oil inside a large pot and place over a medium heat on a gas cooker, add the chopped onions and fry, stir until the onions is soft.

Add the curry powder, the crushed breyani spices, and turmeric. Stir and leave to fry for about two to three minutes. Add a little oil if the mixture is too thick. Add the peeled chopped tomato, sugar, grated apple, and lemon rind, stir together and pour the beef, add salt and mix through with the spice mixture. Leave for few minutes.

Add the apricot jam, and stir, so the apricot jam can melt with the beef mixture.

When the ground beef is half-cooked, turn off the heat, stir through, and allow the meat mixture to cool a little.

Now take the soaked bread, break into wet crumbs, and add to the meat mixture and mix. Break the egg in a bowl, whisk and add the milk, pour the milk- egg mixture to the meat and turn into a greased oven dish, and stud with almonds on top. Bake for about forty minutes in the preheated oven.

With the remaining half milk, whisk the extra egg with the milk and enough turmeric to turn the mixture into a nice yellow color. Take the meat out of the oven, pour over the crushed, and bake about ten to fifteen minutes or until the egg, custard is set. When you serve Boboties, some people will find it hard to believe that it is an African food because of the look. However, the African flavors of Bobotie will come out as soon as they take the first bite.


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