South African Babotie


By the wlr team

Similar to moussaka, this traditional South African baked lamb dish is rich, fruity and spicy. Pronounced ba-boor-tea, it is a delicious mixture of seasoned meat, in this case lamb, and dried fruit topped with a golden custard.

  • Recipe makes: 6 servings
  • Prep time:
    30 mins
  • Cook time: 40 mins
  • Calories: 410
    per serving


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 25g salted butter
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1kg lamb mince
  • 30g madras curry paste
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 30g peach chutney
  • 30g sultanas
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 300ml semi skimmed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 180°C / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F

  1. Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak.
  2. Peel and crush the garlic, peel and chop the onion.
  3. Fry the onions in the butter, stirring regularly until they are soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and minced lamb and stir well.
  4. Stir in the curry paste, herbs, spices, chutney, sultanas and 2 of the bay leaves with 1 tsp salt and a good serving of ground black pepper.
  5. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Squeeze the water from the bread, then add to the meat mixture stirring until fully incorporated. Tip into an oven proof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep), press the mixture down well and smooth the top.
  6. You can make up to 1 day in advance to improve the flavour.
  7. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs with seasoning, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and golden.
Nutrition information per serving
Calories (kcal)410
Carbohydrate (g)19.4
Fat (g)16.5
Protein (g)46.3
Fibre (g)1.5
Alcohol (g)0.0
Fruit & Veg0.9

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