South Africa : Bobotjie

What you need

For a serving of 4-6 people

  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a small handful of coriander
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of smooth apricot jam
  • 4 eggs
  • 500ml of milk
  • 3 slices of white bread
  • black pepper and salt to taste


  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon


Remove the edges off the white bread before cutting it into small pieces and placing them in a bowl. Add 450ml of the milk to the chopped bread and let it soak.

Next, fry the onions and garlic in the oil on medium heat. Stir intermittently so that neither burns. When the onions and garlic start to soften and brown, add your spices, leaving the curry powder out, and continue stirring. Once they have been mixed in properly, add the minced meat.

When the mince has browned, add the black pepper and salt, followed by the apricot jam. Mix together and let it cook on a lower heat. In the meantime, using the back of a spoon, press on the pieces of bread which have been soaking in the milk. Pour out any excess milk before mashing the bread into a pulp. Add the bread mix to the minced meat preparation and stir. Let it cook for a few minutes more on low heat before adding the coriander. Mix again and turn off the heat.

[Pre-heat your oven now by switching it on to 200º C]

Put the curry powder into a bowl and crack your eggs into it. Add the remaining (±50ml) milk and mix.

Transfer the minced meat preparation into a baking dish. Pour the egg mix over it and, using a fork, disturb the layers a little, in order to let some of the egg mix reach the bottom of the dish. Place the bay leaves on top, pressing them slightly – not completely – into the egg layer.

Place your dish into the oven and bake for 15 minutes after which time it is ready to serve.


    Recipe and Preparation

    Chef Mako is a kind and calm chef who specialises in vegan and vegetarian dishes, and freelances in various eateries in the city. Originally from Zimbabwe, he trained in Cape Town, where he currently lives and works.

    “I’m very proud of my work, and I really love cooking. Since I started to cook everyone who eats my food always says it’s nice. I wish if I have money then I will open my own restaurant.” (02/2015)

    Recipe courtesy of Makore Chihota.

    Camera and Editing

    Tuleka Prah


    Title: End of Elements

    Artist: Ezekiel  Honig

Video Transcript

“I like the bobotjie because it’s easy to make and the ingredients are quite cheap. And that’s it.

You can eat bobotjie with rice. You can even eat it with couscous. But the traditional one, you can eat it with rice or bread.

There’s minced meat, there’s onions, there’s garlic, there’s mixed spices. I just add coriander there to make it nice. But the traditional one is almost the same, no coriander; but, the same. Just like that one.

If you want to make a south African Bobotjie, that’s the original.”