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Vegetarian Bobotie Indian

Vegetarian Bobotie Indian


  • oil and butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 100g/31/2oz macadamia nuts (unsalted peanuts can also be used)
  • 50g/2oz blanched almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cayenne chillies (the small green ones), de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2.5cm/1in fresh ginger, peeled and chopped, or grated finely
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 tsp spice mix (see tip) or curry powder
  • 2 slices of white bread soaked in 100ml/4fl oz milk
  • 100g/31/2oz ready-to-eat dried apricots, quartered
  • juice of half a lemon (zest it before you cut it in half)
  • 4 lemon leaves, (bay leaves work just as well) or the zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to season

For the custard topping:

  • 150ml/5fl oz milk, plain yoghurt, or sour cream
  • 2 small eggs
  • salt and pepper

For Homemade Mix: Optional

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • 2 cloves
  • half a cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp allspice or 6 berries.
  • 2 tsp chilli powder is an option but can be left out if using fresh ones in the bobotie.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Fry the onions over a low to medium heat in a little oil and butter until they are transparent but not brown.
  3. It should take 5-10 minutes.
  4. Put the macadamia nuts and the almonds in the oven on a baking tray.
  5. Add the garlic, chillies, ginger, carrots and curry powder, and cook, stirring all the time for another 2 minutes.
  6. Take the nuts out of the oven and roughly chop them.
  7. Add the soaked bread and milk to the mixture making sure you chop up the bread with your spoon or spatula so that it gets evenly distributed.
  8. Stir in the nuts and the apricots, then add the lemon juice.
  9. Season the mixture.
  10. Put the mixture into a baking dish, smooth it out and stand the leaves in it so that they can be removed later.
  11. If you re using lemon zest then just scatter it over the mixture.
  12. Bake for 5-10 minutes while you make the topping.

For the topping: beat the milk, yoghurt or cream with the eggs and season with salt and pepper.

  1. Pour over the bobotie and bake for another 30 minutes.
  2. Tip: Roast and grind your own spice mix
  3. Put all the spices in a dry frying pan over a low heat until the cumin seeds start to spit then grind them together in a coffee grinder (easy option) or a pestle and mortar (hard work).
  4. Grind them as finely as you can.
  5. The kitchen will smell fantastic.

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