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Bobotie with Yellow Rice

Introduction & method

Bobotie (pronounced ba-boor-tea) was invented by Malaysians in the Cape Town area of South Africa as far back as the 17th Century. Today it's considered to be South Africa's national dish, and with good reason. It's absolutely delicious, pure comfort food.

Bobotie with Yellow Rice Recipe

Make the Meat Base

Put the millk into a bowl and add the bread, tearing it into pieces if necessary. Make sure the bread is all submerged. Peel and finely chop the onion. Add a tablespoon or two of oil (sunflower, vegetable, etc) to a large frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the herbs and spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced meat, breaking it up and browning it all over. Add the mango chutney, lemon juice and zest, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Squeeze the soaking bread dry, but keep the milk. Break the bread up into the meat, stir well until it has disappeared. Remove from heat.

Make the Custard Topping

Strain the milk to get rid of any remaining bits of bread. Whisk together with the eggs and seasoning.

Assemble and Bake

Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F) for a fan oven, 180°C (356°F) for a conventional one, gas 4. Spread the meat sauce in an even layer in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Pour the egg mixture over the top and carefully place a bay leaf in each quadrant. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the custard is set and golden-brown.

Yellow Rice

You'll want to start cooking the rice once the bobotie is in the oven. Put all the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down to simmer and put a lid on it. Cook for about 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed - be careful not to let it stick to the pan.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Bobotie with Yellow Rice on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 500 grams minced beef or lamb
 1 large onion
 2 slices sliced white bread
 1 cup milk
 a handful of raisins or sultanas
 half a cup mango chutney
 juice and zest of 1 lemon
 3 tsp curry powder
 1 tsp ground cumin
 half a tsp turmeric
 1½ tsp mixed herbs (oregano, thyme, sage, etc)
 salt & pepper to taste
  milk strained from bread in previous step
 half a cup double (heavy) cream
 3 eggs
 4 bay leaves
 1 cup basmati rice
 half a tsp salt
 1½ tsp turmeric
 half a tsp ground cinnamon
 2 tbsp raisins
 a knob of butter


Oil for sautéeing.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 45 minutes.