I discovered bobotie by accident, and I have to admit the first time I just made it because I wanted to say it again and again. “Wanna know what’s for dinner? It’s bobotie.” “Yes, mom I made bobotie…” And I don’t even have a clue how to pronounce it correctly, sometimes I like to say it as if there are much more b’s and t’s in bobotie.
Isn’t it nice outside? We had beautiful weather the last couple of days, this kind of days that demand parties at the pool, summer cocktails, and grilled meat. I had a fair share of brats and steaks this last weekend, as a result, I am in severe demand of vegetables. Just wondering, is there such thing like a meat-hangover? That’s maybe why this time I made a vegetarian version of bobotie.
This sweet-spicy and moist recipe for this South African dish is made of curried ground meat or lentils with an egg-based custard topping. Bobotie is influenced by the Malaysian and Dutch cuisine and is a combination of the best of both worlds. This hearty meat (or lentil) casserole is comparable to shepherd’s pie and tastes great just served with a green salad.
- 1 pound cooked green lentils or ground lamb or beef (see notes)
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 (14½ oz) can diced tomatoes, drained or 5-6 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 85 g / ½ cup raisins
- 40 g / ⅓ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 80 g / ½ cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary)
- 300 ml / 1¼ cups milk
- 60 ml / ¼ cup heavy cream or milk
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons mango chutney
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
- salt to taste (I use 2 teaspoons)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for the casserole dish
- Preheat your oven to 205 C / 400 F and grease your casserole dish with olive oil.
- In a large bowl mix lentils, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, raisins, sunflower seeds, and breadcrumbs. Transfer to the casserole dish and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
- Whisk milk, cream, eggs, mango chutney, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, sugar, and salt and pour over the lentil mix.
- Place the bay leaves on top and bake for 40 minutes.
If you are using ground lamb or beef, place your meat and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until brown. While cooking use a wooden spoon to break the ground meat into smaller pieces.