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Handwritten Bobotee RecipeThis was a recipe my Mother came up with one day. I have no idea where she got it from as it was far from being the normal fare we were served as kids. Usually when she wasn't cooking traditional British family meals she would come up with "yucky" things like Stuffed Green Peppers (I still have trouble eating green peppers to this day) or Spaghetti Bolognese - the feel of the pasta used to make me heave - hard to believe pasta is one of my favourites foods these days, no thanks to my Mother.

But back to Bobotee. As a kid it was one of my favourite meals, eaten with chips of course! Funny thing is, I have cooked it a couple of times in the last few years but all the kids dislike it. Put it on the table and the moans and groans can be heard at the other end of the street, "Oh! Not that again!"

I don't know much about Bobotee other than that is from South Africa. My Mother's hand written recipe says "South African Savoury Meat Dish". I am quite sure the recipe is a corruption of the original dish but it is still enjoyable.

If anyone can send me an original Bobotee recipe get in touch - email me.


1 1/2 lbs mince beef
Thick slices of bread weighing about 4 ozs
1/2 pt milk
2 sliced onions
1 large or 2 small eggs
1 good tbspn curry powder
2 tspns sugar
1 tspn salt
1 tbspn vinegar or lemon juice
1 oz dripping or fat


  • Heat the fat in a frying pan and cook the onions until soft, then add the curry powder, salt, sugar, vinegar or lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
  • Put the bread into a dish, pour over the milk and let it stand for 15 minutes. Then pour off and keep the milk (if any) that the bread has not absorbed.
  • Beat the bread until very soft, then add this to the fried onion mixture, together with the meat and one of the eggs (or half the beaten egg if using only one).
  • Pour the mixture into the bottom of a well greased dish.
  • Pour the milk (left over from soaking the bread) into the rest of the egg, cover the meat mixture with this custard.
  • Put the dish into the middle of a moderately hot oven (200ºC or 400ºF) and cook for 30 minutes, after this time reducing the heat to 180ºC / 350ºF for a further 30 minutes.


This dish can be made with cooked meat, although it is not so full of flavour. In this case cook for 25 minutes only.