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It’s a long weekend, and what better way to kick back and relax than to stay indoors and cook up a storm with this classic bobotie recipe

No-raisin beef bobotie with curry leaves
Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 15ml fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 20ml mild curry powder
  • 5ml ground turmeric
  • 5ml ground coriander
  • 5ml ground cumin
  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 60ml fruit chutney
  • 30ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 30ml tomato paste
  • 2 slices white bread, soaked in water
  • 125ml milk
  • 1 x egg
  • 12 curry leaves (fresh or dried)

Here’s how

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Fry until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 30 seconds.

2. Add the curry powder, turmeric, coriander and cumin, and fry, stirring, for a minute.

3. Divide the beef mince into three batches and add one batch at a time, turning up the heat to high and stirring after each addition and waiting for the meat to change colour from pink to grey (do not brown) before adding more.

4. When all the meat has changed colour, season generously with salt & pepper, then add the lemon juice, chutney, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and soaked bread (break up the bread into chunks – it’ll continue to break down while cooking).

5. Stir well, then turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook slowly for 25 minutes, scraping the bottom often to prevent burning. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180°C.

6. In a medium jug, mix the milk and egg well and season with salt and pepper.

7. When the meat mixture is ready, transfer it to a suitable deep baking dish and smooth the top evenly. Pour over the milky egg mixture and dot all over with curry leaves.

8. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.

9. Remove and serve hot with rice, fresh coriander, toasted coconut, chutney and tomato salsa (or your choice of sambals).

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