March, 2010


I love South African food, and the best part (besides the taste) are the names of its dishes being so FUN

Today I had to make BOBOTIE (pronounced boobooty)  since at my daughter’s school they are celebrating South Africa and they all had to take a typically southafrican dish. I believe bobotie is common to Cape Town but I learned to cook it while living in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. The recipie below is from the Kaapse Tafel restaurant in Cape Town. I’ve had it for many years and it’s tried and tested and it always comes out delicious.


  • 1kg of steak mince
  • 1 large onion
  • olive oil
  • 1 thick slice of stale bread without the crust (White bread)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 table spoon of apricot jam
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 2 table spoons of seedless raisins
  • 15 blanched almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fress ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 lemon leaves (or bay leaves for a poor substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • milk


  1. Lightly fry chopped onion in oil till golden. Add chopped garlic. Add grated ginger. Take off the fire.
  2. Soak bread in half a cup of milk, crumble with fork. Add to the mince, mix well.
  3. Place pot on stove. Add a little oil if the onion has absorbed it all. Put meat and all other ingredients except the rest of the milk, the lemon leaves and the eggs.
  4. Mix like mad to avoid lumps. Cook until soft and cooked through, to the stage when meat is getting brown and not pink.
  5. I suggest you use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat mixture to a baking dish about 5 cm high as you will have to add on. Make sure you taste at this stage to correct seasonings. You can addmore of any ingredients at this stage.
  6. You will probably have some residual gravy in the pot. Reduce it by gently cooking without lid and add to the baking dish.
  7. Now beat the two eggs. Add 1 cup of milk plus what is left of the milk in which the bread had been soaked. Total should not exceed one and a half cups. Mix well. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Check that there is not too much water in the baking dish containing the meat. The meat should not be dry but there shouldn’t be any gravy at the bottom.
  9. Pour milk and egg mixture after beating till well mixed onto the bobotie mixture. Place lemon leaves on top
  10. Bake uncovered in moderate oven (180º-190ºC) for 30 to 40 min. Till the egg mixture has become set.

Normally served with yellow rice.