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Traditional Bobotie

ServesServes 8
Cooking timeCooking Time:
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  • 6 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 325 ml SAFARI Seedless Raisins
  • 125 ml SAFARI Dried Apricots, cut into very small dice
  • 125 ml SAFARI Flaked Almonds (optional)
  • 600 ml milk
  • table salt
  • 45 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large eating apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 30 - 45 ml (to taste) sugar
  • 30 ml grated ginger root
  • 30 - 45 ml (to taste) mild and aromatic curry powder
  • 10 ml turmeric
  • 10 ml ground cumin
  • 1 kg lamb (or lean beef) mince
  • ground white or black pepper
  • 80 ml apricot jam (or fruity chutney if you like)
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 5 jumbo eggs
  • 2.5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 15 ml finely-grated lemon rind
  • 6 fresh lemon or bay leaves (or 4 dried bay leaves)
  • coriander leaves


  1. Tear the bread into small pieces and place in a bowl. Pour in sufficient milk to soak the bread (about 200 ml of the milk) and reserve the rest of the milk. Sprinkle 5 ml of the salt over the bread, stir well, cover and set aside until required.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and apple and sauté until golden then add the sugar and ginger and sauté briefly before adding the curry powder, turmeric and cumin. Stir-fry the mixture for a minute to cook out the floury taste. Add the mince and while it’s browning, break up the larger pieces with a fork. When lightly browned, add the almonds (if using) and sauté briefly before adding the milky bread mixture. Stir-fry until the bottom of pan becomes sticky. Now stir in the jam and lemon juice, scraping up all the browned bits from bottom.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the raisins and apricots. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper and set aside to cool down a little before whisking in two of the eggs. Transfer the mixture to a large, deep oven-safe serving dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray and smooth out the top.
  4. Bake in the oven preheated to 180º C for 15 minutes. Now the meat is ready for the custard layer: whisk together the remaining milk and eggs, nutmeg and lemon zest. Pour the mixture over the back of a spoon onto the meat layer. Stick the lemon or bay leaves pointing upwards into the meat layer and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the custard is set,
  5. Remove the Bobotie from the oven and let it stand for 20 minutes to settle before serving it with yellow raisin rice and fruity chutney.
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