Posted by    |  December 13, 2009  |  Filed under: Recipes


As best I can remember, Babootie was the first dish Kyle ever made for me.  That is just one of the many reasons why Babootie is so near and dear to my heart.  It is too fun to say the word and use it as a double entendre.  Babootie is absurdly easy to make and freezes beautifully.  The kids also love it.

Babootie originated in South Africa. It is a culmination of flavors from European immigrants to the region.  There are lots of different recipes-South Africans are as passionate about their Babootie as Italians are about Ragu.  The recipe I’ve always loved is on the simpler side.  Other recipes include an egg custard topping, basil, bay leaves, lemon and lots of other stuff.  I have made this dish truly inauthentic by adding a can of coconut milk.  I wanted something to make this saucier and the coconut milk marries well with the other flavors of this dish.


Meat mixture

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 ½ to 2 cups)

2 lbs ground lamb or beef

2 tablespoons curry powder

½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)


1 16-ounce can tomatoes

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cider or malt vinegar

1 or 2 firm bananas, sliced into ¼” thick rounds

1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/2 “ cubes

1 tablespoon apricot jam or 4 sliced canned apricots

¼ cup sliced almonds

1 can coconut milk (light or full fat)

Salt to taste


Sauté the aromatics and meat

  1. Add the oil to a medium hot pan.  Sauté onions until they’re beginning to soften. Season with a bit of salt then add the curry powder.  Add more oil if necessary. The curry powder can sometimes soak up all the oil from the pan, leaving it a bit too dry.
  2. Sauté the onions until they’re translucent.  Remove them from the pan to a bowl
  3. Add the ground meat to the pan, turning the heat on the pan up to high.  Cook through and drain.

Add all the flavoring ingredients and cook until finished

  1. Add the curry-onion mixture back to the pan along with all the rest of the flavoring ingredients.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until cooked through.


  1. Serve over rice.

Off Script…

I usually substitute the apple for peeled and cubed green (unripe) mango.  You may be able to simply find an unripe mango in a bin with the ripe ones at your grocery store.  My little ethnic grocery stocks them separately from the ripe ones.

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