I first tasted Bobotie when staying with South African friends, and rather fell for the curried, fruited beef with creamy topping. Over the years I have modified the recipe, trading some of the meat for pulses and simplifying the spices. It always disappears fast, particularly when served with white rice, a chunky salad, and plenty of pickles or chutneys to set off the flavours.

Ingredients (serves five to six)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 onions, chopped small
  • 1 large squirt garlic puree
  • 2 tbsp curry powder – you can tweak this depending how hot you like your food
  • 250ml breadcrumbs
  • 400g tin black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g dried apricots, quartered
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and brown the mince in the oil. Set aside while you fry the onion, and then return the meat to the pan and give it all a good stir. Mix in the garlic and curry powder and allow it to cook for a minute or two. Stir in the breadcrumbs, fruit and pine nuts. Tip it into a shallow 2l oven-proof dish and press it loosely into the base, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pop it into the oven for about 10 minutes while you make the topping.

Just stir together the beaten eggs and cream with a little salt and pepper, and pour over the meat base. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes until the topping is set and starting to look golden.