Bobotie (South African Pie)

This is a South African dish which is prepared with leftover beef or lamb. The meat in this dish is tender, unlike many dishes which the meat is cooked a second time and can often come out like rubber.

6 Portions
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes



  • 2 slices of thick white bread, crust removed and roughly diced
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp almond flakes
  • 800g cooked lamb, diced finely
  • 1 tbsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp tamarind water (1 tbsp tamarind paste soaked in in 2 tbsp boiling water, strained)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 egg

To Serve

  • Your choice of chutney shop bought or home made
  • Sautèed shredded kale or spinach cooked with palm oil or olive oil with garlic and ginger
  • Or Boiled rice


  1. Bobotie: Preheat an oven to 180°C. Place the bread in the milk and set it aside for a few minutes. Sweat the onions in the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat until transparent (2-3 minutes) then add the garlic and cook it until the onion is slightly golden. Remove the garlic and onions from the heat and allow them to cool. Drain the bread from the milk and place the it in a bowl (reserve the milk).Place the lamb, almonds, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, chili, pepper, caster sugar, tamarind juice, cooked onions and garlic in the bowl with the bread. Mix the mixture together until well distributed. Stir in 1 beaten egg into the the mixture until well combined.
  2. To Cook: Butter 6 ramekins or in a single pie dish or another deep oven proof container. Distribute the bobotie mixture among the 6 ramekins and place them in the preheated oven and leave individual ones to cook for 15-20 minutes or a single pie for 30 minutes.
  3. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl with the lemon zest and reserved milk until well combined. Remove the pies from the oven and place a bay leaf on the top of each one or all of them on the single pie, pour the egg mixture over the pie or pies and return them to the oven. Cook them for 8-10 minutes so that the custard is just set.
  4. To Serve: Serve the pies with your choice of chutney, sautéed kale or boiled rice.