The iconic South African pie, made from left-overs or with fresh ingredients as I do, is so finger-licking good! It is a culinary melting pot, with Afrikaans, Malay and Indian ingredients put together to create a taste bomb of savoury, sweet, sour and lightly spicy. Lamb or beef mince is used. I prefer lamb, as it makes it more flavourful. I must say, in all the grass-fed/ free-range/ organic meats, nothing to beat the flavour of a Karoo lamb of South Africa. The Karoo is a semidesert area, with a biodiversity of tough shrubs and herbs that are full of essential oils due to the tough environment they grow in. The cattle & lamb, that graze on these thousands of hectares of ranches makes their meat one of the tastiest, with hints of the herby goodness having percolated into the meat itself. All you need is pepper & salt. But having said that, try to get good grass-fed meat at all times for taste, as well as environmental reasons. South Africans love sweetness in their recipes, and the abundance of raisins and apricots growing there, provides it. Bobotie, is traditionally accompanied by Yellow rice cooked with some turmeric, a fistful of raisins & butter.

For 4 persons. 1 cup=240ml/ 1 tbsp=15ml/ 1 tsp=5 ml


300g lamb mince / beef mince
1 large Granny Smith / or any firm, tart apple, cut in large cubes ( I keep the skin on)
85g / 1 large onion, cubed / about 3/4 cupful
2 large cloves garlic diced or pounded to coarse paste
2 thick slices of good quality bread/5 slices of a baguette soaked in 350 ml milk. Gluten-free? use 1/2 cup of rolled oats powdered, or almondflour
1 1/2 tbsp mix of curry powder + some crushed dried herbs like oregano, thyme, sage
35g / 1/2 cup of raisins/ or chopped dried apricots
20 g roughly chopped almonds
1 tbsp lemon juice ( if organic, add the zest too)
1 tbsp apricot jam/ or a fig or apple jam & 1 tbsp of a sweet-sour-spicy chutney. ( Mrs. Balls chutney is the traditional choice)
1 tsp cider / wine vinegar
2 tbsp oil
2 small eggs, beaten
4-5 bay leaves/ tejpatta
Salt to taste ( 3/4 tsp) and 1/2 tsp black pepper crushed


1.Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C/ 375 deg F. You will need a deep Pie dish with a cover/ or parchment paper to tie on the top.
2.Soak the bread slices in the milk.
3.Heat a wide pan with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion & stir-fry till it just begins to colour..
4.Add the garlic and the mince, stir-fry till the meat changes its colour & releases some of its juices.
5.Add the curry powder + herbs & the apple. Stir-fry to mix. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
6.Squeeze the bread, and crumble it over the meat mix. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl except the milk, eggs & bay leaves. Gluten-free: add the almond flour/ oatmeal
7.Mix everything well with your hand. Grease and layer it in a deep baking dish of approx. 16x24 cm. Make sure you have a space of 4-5 cms above the layer
8.Insert the bay leaves into the top layer evenly.
9.Add the beaten eggs to the milk, and a pinch of salt plus some freshly ground pepper. You can add some nutmeg powder to this for extra taste.
10.Pour the mixture over the mince layer.
11.Cover the baking dish & bake in the middle of the oven for 30 mins. After that, remove the lid/ cover and bake for a further 15-20 mins till the egg custard is lightly golden & bubbly.
12.Remove from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with yellow rice & a big salad.
13.South Africans serve as accompaniment a Tomato + onion sauce, Chopped bananas & coconut.