A fusion - like much of South Africa's cooking - of spices and styles, bobotie is the country's signature dish, fiery, sweet and tart all at once. It is always served with yellow rice and is often made with lamb, not beef.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder or 1 tablespoon Indian curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ pounds (750 grams) ground beef
  • 2 slices white bread soaked in milk, squeezed dry and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam or orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened (about 3 minutes). Add ginger, sugar, curry paste and turmeric and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add ground beef and sauté for 2 minutes or until it starts to lose its pinkness. Add crumbled bread, chutney, raisins, vinegar, apricot jam and tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until flavours have come together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a greased ovenproof casserole.

Beat together eggs, milk, salt and grated lemon rind and pour over meat mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is set. Serves 6.