Enkosi Cookathon: Bobotie

No self respecting South African Cookathon would be complete without Bobotie, the famous sweet-and-spicy curried meat casserole of Cape Malay cuisine. Brought to our shores with Dutch East India envoys from Indonesia, it’s considered by many to be our national dish (and quite possibly the most oft cooked meal for foreign visitors).

Ina Paarman sent us her thoroughly tested and trustworthy recipe for Bobotie, definitely one for the recipe file. Download print-friendly version.

Bobotie | Ina Paarman (Serves 6)

Treat the family to this bobotie with its rich golden topping. It is also easy and economical entertaining fare. This recipe contains no raisins or other ingredients that children often dislike with meat.

2 T (30 ml) oil
½ T (7.5 ml) butter
2 onions, finely chopped
500 g mince (a combination of beef and lamb is good)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup (250 ml) grated carrot or apple

1 T (15 ml) curry powder
1 t (5 ml) coriander
½ t (2.5 ml) ginger
2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman’s Garlic & Herb Seasoning
1 t (5 ml) turmeric
½ t (2.5 ml) cinnamon
1 t (5 ml) sugar
pinch of red chilli or cayenne pepper
1 T (15 ml) cider or wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 slices white bread, soaked in Chicken Stock, lightly squeezed and mashed with a fork
bay-leaves or lemon leaves

1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or ½ cup fresh cream and ½ cup plain yoghurt (this is the secret – the topping must be made
with a thick milk product)
1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Garlic & Herb Seasoning
2 eggs


1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Stir-fry the onion in the oil and butter until soft. Add the mince and stir-fry until crumbly. Add the garlic, grated carrot and spices. Continue cooking very briefly to develop all flavours. Season with Garlic & Herb Seasoning. Add vinegar. Add softened mashed bread.

3. Spread the mixture into a flat ovenproof dish. Beat together all the ingredients for the topping with a fork. Pour the topping over the bobotie. Float a few bay or lemon leaves in the topping. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes until the custard topping is firm and golden brown.

4. Serve with yellow rice, chutney, sliced bananas and a sambal of diced tomatoes and onion.

If you enjoyed this recipe consider giving Ina Paarman’s Lamb Curry with Brinjals a spin, and if you are taking part in the Enkosi Cookathon, remember to submit your photo to stand a chance to win some spanking new kitchen tools.

Find out more about the Enkosi Cookathon, entries close 23 October 2011 at midnight.

Competition is now closed.