Traditional Cape Malay Bobotie – Defy

Traditional Cape Malay Bobotie - Defy , heritage day, heritage month, hirschs, hirsch's homestore, cooking,

Traditional Cape Malay Bobotie – Defy

Traditional Cape Malay Bobotie

What was originally known as the bobotok has now become the infamous Traditional Cape Malay Bobotie. This dish first showed up in a Dutch cookbook dating back to 1609, soon after it was introduced to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community.

The recipe is a hearty mixture of curried meat and fruit with a creamy golden-brown hopping. Jam-packed with a fusion of flavours and textures, the combination is one like no other. Although the dish comes from humble beginnings, it is incredibly versatile. As long as the core ingredients remain the same, there is so much you can do to make this dish your own.


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg packet lean minced beef
  • 2 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 2 tbsp yellow sugar
  • 5ml mango or peach chutney
  • 3 tbsp sultana
  • 6 bay leaves
  • For the topping
  • 300ml full-cream milk
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the onions in the butter, stirring regularly for 10 mins until they are soft.
  4. Add the garlic and beef and stir well, crushing the mince into fine grains until it changes colour.
  5. Stir in the curry paste, herbs, spices, chutney, sugar, sultanas and 2 of the bay leaves, salt & pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Squeeze the water from the bread, then beat into the meat mixture until well blended.
  8. Place in an oval ovenproof dish [23 x 33 cm and about 5-6 cm deep].
  9. Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.

For the topping :

  1. Beat the milk and eggs with seasoning, then pour over the meat.
  2. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.

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