Bobotie with Yellow Rice

The ultimate Bobotie (Cape Malay) recipe.

I have now fine tuned our (South African) Bobotie menu. Remember, the secret is making half of it the day before. In fact you can make the final day a few days afterwards.

This is an old Cape Malay dish from the Western Cape. It was favoured very much by Afrikaners who took the recipe with them when they trekked, in ox wagons, a thousand miles to the Transvaal.

The baking of the dish tends to take away the heat of the chilli. I tend to put two or three times the amount I would put in to most other dishes.



Bobotie With Yellow Rice

Ingredients (tick as you get them out of the cupboards)

_____ 1 onions, sliced

_____ 200 ml milk

_____ 1 tsp butter

_____ 3 eggs

_____ 5 bay leaves

_____ 1 orange

_____ 1 lemon

_____ 1 flat tsp curry powder

_____ 1 tsp salt

_____ 1 tsp turmeric

_____ 1 tsp brown vinegar

_____ 2 tsp chutney

_____ 1 tbsp oil

_____ 1 tbsp smooth apricot jam

_____ 1 tbsp Worcester sauce

_____ 400/500 grams raw mince

_____ 1 red or green chilli (hot- or more to taste – or half small Scotch Bonnet or more to taste)

_____ 1 fairly thick (or two thin) slice crustless bread (white or brown).

_____ ½ cup sultanas (don’t replace with raisins – they are too sweet; sultanas are much better for this recipe).

_____ 4 cloves garlic (or more to taste), crushed…(I slice them thinly, sprinkle with salt and crush with the blade of a knife).


Day one

Soak bread in milk. Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions, chilli and garlic. When onions are soft, add curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix well.

Add bread (after squeezing milk out) to pan together with mince & sultanas. (Place milk in a container and place in fridge for day two.) Cook over low heat, stirring, when meat loses pinkness, remove from stove. Add 1 beaten egg, mix well, then spoon into a greased, 28 x 16 cm baking dish and level the top.

Day two

Beat remaining eggs with reserved milk (you should have 300 ml, or a little more) add some more turmeric. Pour over meat mixture and put a few bay leaves on top and bottom. Put alternate cartwheels of oranges and lemons around the dish. Stand dish in a larger pan of water (this is important to prevent drying out) and bake, uncovered, at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour or until set.

Serve with yellow rice, coconut, chutney, nuts and bananas.

Yellow Rice

Ingredients (tick as you get them out of the cupboards)

_____ 170g basmati rice

_____ half tsp salt

_____ 20g butter

_____ 1 tbsp caster sugar

_____ half tsp ground turmeric

_____ 2.5 tbsp raisins (not sultanas as in the main dish)

_____ half tsp ground cinnamon or ¼ cinnamon stick

_____ 4 cardamom pods , shelled and seeds crushed


Put all the ingredients in a large pan with 450ml water, then heat until boiling and the butter has melted.

Stir, cover and leave to simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Take off the heat and leave, still covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff up and tip into a warm bowl to serve.