Bobotie with Turmeric Rice

My South African/Australian friend made this for me a while ago and it was freaking fantastic. The sweetness of the raisins and chutney balanced out with the flavourful savoury beef mince was amazing. I haven’t been able to get her to reveal her secrets to me, so I decided to do some google-investigating. Although it’s not exactly like hers, I think it’s pretty close and certainly delicious!

Recipes adapted from:

Servings: 5


  • Bobotie:
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 2 medium onions, minced
    • 700g (1.5lbs) ground beef
    • 1 cup milk
    • 4 slices of plain white bread
    • 1/2 cup of raisins or craisins
    • 1.5 Tbsp of chutney (hot or fruit)
    • 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 pinch salt
  • Turmeric rice:
    • 2.5 cups water
    • 1 cup long grain white rice (basmati is a good choice)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1.5 tsp ground tumeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup  raisins or craisins
    • 1 Tbsp butter


  • Bobotie:
    1. Preheat oven to 175˚C (350F) and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish/meatloaf pan. (pan must be narrow and deep)
    2. Put the milk in a shallow dish and soak the bread in the milk. Squeeze excess milk from the bread and set aside.
    3. Over medium-high heat, in a pan, sauté the onions in the oil until soft.
    4. Break the ground beef into the pan and cook until brown. Reduce the heat to low.
    5. Add the previously soaked bread, craisins, chutney, curry powder, salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
    6. Place the bay leaves inside the meat mixture and transfer it all to the baking dish.
    7. Bake uncovered for ~15-20 minutes (until the top layer of meat is a darker brown – a “baked” look)
    8. Whisk the reserved milk, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Pour this mixture over the bobotie (after you’ve baked it for 15-20mins). Then put it back in the oven for another 15-20 mins (until egg is done and top is golden brown). Done!
  • Turmeric rice:
    1. Mix all the ingredients in a small pot/sauce pan and cover with a lid. Switch it on high heat and bring to a boil. (Mix the rice occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan)
    2. After it reaches a boil, turn the heat on low and simmer for 15-20minutes until the water is gone or rice is fluffy. Done!
  • To serve: spoon the bobotie over the turmeric rice with a dollop of chutney (fruit or hot) on the side. Can also sprinkle desiccated coconut over it, some chopped almonds and sliced bananas. Enjoy!


  • It is important that you have the right size pan! Something narrow and deep, like a bread loaf pan or something similar to those dimensions. If you use a wide tray, your egg won’t sit on top of the meat and your meat will more readily overcook and dry out in the oven. A narrower and deeper dish, it decreases the surface area and the egg custard mix will cover the top better and protect it from being overcooked.

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