Rachel Allen's version of this satisfying South African dish with minced lamb and a savoury custard topping is quick to throw together for a warming winter supper
By Rachel Allen
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the filling

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 450 g minced lamb
  • 25 g blanched flaked almonds
  • 50 g raisins or sultanas
  • 1 heaped tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 heaped tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 1 heaped tsp chopped chives
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 slices white bread, soaked in 2 tbsp milk and 2 tbsp vinegar

For the topping

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. For the filling: melt the butter in a wide, heavy-based pan over a low-medium heat and stir in the onion, carrots, garlic, ginger and the ground spices. Cover the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

3. Increase the heat to high and stir in the mince. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until all the mince is browned.

4. Stir in the almonds, raisins, herbs, salt, sugar and the soaked bread, along with any excess milk and vinegar.

5. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper then tip the filling into a large ovenproof dish and set aside.

6. For the topping: whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, stir in the milk and turmeric and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Pour the topping through a sieve over the meat in the dish. Put straight into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is set and golden and the filling is bubbling hot.

8. Serve the bobotie straight from the dish.

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