South African Bobotie

This South African dish is a healthy and delicious option for large groups of people, friends and family alike. While not particularly spicy, bobotie incorporates a variety of flavors, such as those from dried fruit, that gives it a wonderful depth and complexity.

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric or ginger
  • 2 thick slices of bread, crumbled [bigger than bread crumbs but smaller than croutons]
  • ¼ cup of milk [you can choose any kind you like, but skim milk makes this already healthy dish even healthier!]
  • juice and rind of ½ a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp each salt, pepper


  • 3 oz dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 ½ oz slivered almonds
  • 6 bay leaves


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tspn salt


Set the oven at 325°F. Butter a large casserole dish.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in the cumin and turmeric (or ginger, depending on what you have on hand), and cook briefly until fragrant. Take the saucepan off the heat.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread, milk, lemon juice, egg, salt, pepper, apricots, apples, golden raisins, and almonds. Add them to the onion and spice mixture and incorporate thoroughly. Transfer the Boboti mixture to your greased casserole dish and place the bay leaves on top. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, get the topping of milk, eggs, and salt ready by whisking them together in another bowl. Take your Boboti out of the oven, uncover it, and pour the egg mixture on top. Return it to the oven, uncovered, for another fifteen minutes at 400°F. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. [Makes eight servings]