Caryl’s Recipe Collection – Old Fashioned Cape Bobotie

Esona South Africa Bobotie Recipe Header Image

My Story…

Growing up on the slopes of Signal Hill with a lovely view of Table Mountain, we were a typical old fashioned South African family. We enjoyed our different kinds of food, usually plain dishes such as I have already introduced in previous recipes, then also staples such as Macaroni cheese, egg & bacon pie, and Shepherd’s Pie. Strangely enough, Lasagne and other Italian or Greek dishes were not fashionable yet.

We sometimes had tripe & trotters, boiled salt beef & OX tongue. Also, rabbit fairly often. So you can see how the culinary world has changed, and eating habits have changed with price and demand playing the main factor.

My mom tended to serve the same meal on the same day each week! Yes, we all had to put up with it too! We always had corned tongue every Saturday, until one week my eldest brother John had enough and took all of us five children to the park at the bottom of our road, Burnside Rd, (the park is in Tamboerskloof). Needless to say, my dad came in his car and found us all hiding behind trees, etc. – we were taken home & all given good hiding too! I suppose this doesn’t have much to do with Bobotie, but you may like the story anyway. It is quite true.

Bobotie was a favorite of my dad’s, but mom didn’t make it too spicy as he had a stomach ulcer (which he often reminded us of!). She made it very tasty all the same with raisins in the meat mix and in the yellow rice. I have never been able to perfect rice like my mom made it, but maybe the rice was better quality in those days.

My Recipe – Old Fashioned Bobotie                                                                        

  1. 500g lean beef mince; 1 tbsp. oil
  2. 1 thinly sliced onion; 2 crushed garlic cloves
  3. 1 tsp salt; 1 tbsp. curry powder
  4. 2 tsp turmeric; 2 tsp sugar
  5. 2 tbsp. wine vinegar; juice of 1 lemon
  6. 1 beaten egg; 125 ml Esona Shiraz Wine
  7. 1 tsp each ginger, cinnamon & cumin
  8. 2 slices brown bread soaked in ½ cup milk

Egg Mix

  1. 2 XL eggs
  2. 1 Cup Milk
  3. Bay Leaves
  4. Flake Almonds


  1. Soak bread in milk and leave-in the dish. Mash with a fork.
  2. Sauté onion in oil till transparent
  3. Add garlic, sugar, vinegar & all the spices & salt & lemon juice
  4. Stir and simmer a few minutes
  5. Now add meat and bread with the wine and beaten egg. Stir well.
  6. Spoon into a greased pie dish.
  7. Mix eggs & milk with ½ tsp salt and pour evenly over the meat. Dot with a few pieces of butter, bay leaves and scatter over ½ cup almonds (optional)
  8. Bake at 180° for 40 min till egg is set & a little brown

Yellow rice

Boil 1 cup of Rice with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil & add ½ tsp salt & 1 rounded tsp turmeric. Simmer till soft. Stir now and then & when nearly cooked add ½ cup raisins (optional). Drain, sprinkle with brown sugar and a few pats of butter. Keep warm in a covered dish.


Enjoy with Esona Shiraz. Serve with chutney, sliced banana, chopped tomatoes & onion or your choice of sambal.

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