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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Food and drink biodiversity:

Recipe: Bobotie

A curried mince dish that includes products from two different animal species and different plant species.

Bobotie is a traditional dish of people of slave origin in the Cape, South Africa. This recipe is based on that presented in Heard and Faull (1970 p. 186).


Bos ovis (Cattle) > meat > mince

2 lb minced cooked meat.


Bos ovis (Cattle) > milk

1 cup of milk


Bos ovis (Cattle) > milk > butter

2 tablespoons of butter.


Gallus domesticus (Chicken) > eggs

2 eggs.


Allium cepa (Onion)

Finely slice 2 onions.


Malus domestica (Domestic Apple)

Cut up 1 apple into dices.


Vitis vinifera (Grapevine) > grapes > vinegar

2 tablespoons vinegar.


Vitis vinifera (Grapevine) > grapes > raisins

1/4 cup raisins.


Saccharum officinarum (Sugar cane) > sugar

2 tablespoons sugar.


Prunus dulcis (Common almond) > almonds

12 almonds (optional).


Bread - main constituent wheat

2 slices of bread, soaked and squeezed out. Bread is made in a separate process involving the use of species, including .


Curcuma longa (Turmeric) > powdered root

1 teaspoon turmeric (optional).


Laurus nobilis (Bay laurel) > bay leaves

6 bay leaves.


Piper nigrum (Pepper)

1/4 teaspoon pepper.


Curry powder - made up of spices from at least four different plant species.

2 tablespoons curry-powder.


Salt (non-biological origin)

2 teaspoons salt.



  • Fry the onion and apple in the butter.
  • Mix the above with the mince, break, curry, sugar, 1 of the eggs, vinegar, salt, pepper and raisins.
  • Remove the skins of the almonds (by blanching in hot water), cut them in quarters and add them to the mixture.
  • Mix is all up well and put into a greased baking dish.
  • Insert the bay leaves into the mixture in an upright position (rolled up lemon leaves can be used instead).
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 30-45 minutes.
  • Beat the second egg with the milk and pour it over the bobotie 10 minutes before you take it out of the oven..

Serve with:

Oryza sativa (Rice)



Chutney - made up of a number of different ingredients




  • Heard, V. and Faull, L. 1970. Cookery in Southern Africa. Traditional and Today. Books of Africa, Cape Town.