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inWine: Bobotie's a delicious recipe from South African wine country

Bobotie, a taste of South Africa
Bobotie, a taste of South Africa

Bobotie is a favourite South African dish and it is to die for. I first tasted it a couple of years ago on a trip to South Africa at Bertus Basson’s Spice Route Restaurant. The Spice Route Destination is an artisan community that offers fantastic little shops ranging from a chocolate maker to a beer brewer and is also home to the Spice Route Winery. 

The Spice Route Winery in South Africa
The Spice Route Winery in South Africa

The Spice Route Restaurant features South African traditional dishes and Bobotie is actually South Africa’s national dish (I was even served in on the airplane for lunch). The dish has Cape Malay origins and is essentially minced meat simmered with spices, herbs and dried fruit, then topped with a mixture of egg and milk and baked until set. For me, it was love at first bite.

There are many different recipes and styles of Bobotie, but this version comes from winemaker Danny Hattingh’s South African mother Alma Bulterys. Her addition of the rice crust not only makes it a one-dish meal but also makes for a fabulous presentation.

This will become a family favourite and one of your company’s coming go to dishes to wow guests.

Danny’s Mom’s Bobotie


Rice Crust:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 extra large egg yolks


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 2 med onions or 1 large peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 slices of bread, crust removed, soaked in ¼ c milk and ripped into small pieces
  • 500 grams ground beef
  • ¾ cup sultana raisins
  • 2 Tbsp chutney
  • 1 Tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Top layer:

  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Pepper
  • 6 Bay leaves

To Serve (optional):

  • One banana, sliced into rounds
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 9-inch springform pan


For the Rice Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Cook the rice as per directions and cool.
Mix together sour cream and egg yolks and then add to rice and combine thoroughly.
Line a 9 “ springform pan with parchment paper and then pack rice mixture on bottom and sides making sure there are no holes and that the rice goes high up the sides to contain the filling. Try to make the corners thicker when pressing the rice in to help with leakage issues.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until set and starting to turn slightly golden. Remove from oven to cool.

For the Filling:

Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan to medium and melt the butter.
Add all ingredients except onions and garlic; stir until the brown sugar has melted then add onions and garlic and sauté on low until onions are translucent.
Add ground beef to spice and onion mixture and fry until all is cooked through.
Squeeze the milk out of the bread and add to mixture.
Add the rest of ingredients and cook for 10 minutes on medium high. Stirring to prevent from burning.
Taste and add extra ingredients to taste (salt, pepper, chutney, apricot jam) and then transfer mixture to rice crust.

For the Topping:

With a fork thoroughly mix the egg and cream together and season with pepper.
Insert Bay leaves into filling so they are standing up evenly distributed in a circle or design of your choice.
Pour cream and egg mixture over the filling and bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until the top layer is set and lightly browned.

To Serve:

Careful release from the springform pan and place Bobotie on a plate or plate stand as it makes a beautiful centerpiece.

Serve in slices like a cake with accoutrements in little bowls on the side.

Note: Bobotie keeps very well and can be made a day ahead. Leftovers can be kept for 2-3 days (if there happens to be any!) are wonderful heated up.

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