First posted: Jan 29, 2016

Lamb and Lentil Bobotie


If you didn’t already know, Bobotie is a very well-loved South African dish made with richly spiced minced meat and then baked with an egg custard topping. It sounds a little bizarre, but it’s ridiculously delicious and it’s also one of Rob’s favourites (so then you know it’s good). Also, it’s makes for a dreamy winter dinner, perfect for this time of year.

I featured a version of this in my first book, Bitten; and it’s so well loved that I have updated it to share in my latest book, Home.

Bobotie has it’s roots firmly in Dutch and Cape Malay cooking heritage, and originally it was made mostly with pork. It works well with a lot of proteins though, and one of my favourites is to use lamb. I’m also adding in lentils for some extra bulk, and well, just because they’re well loved in our house too. Almost as adored as this this Malva Pudding recipe, which is still one of the most viewed recipes on my blog ever.

Everyone has their own flavour combination and spice line-up, and I’m pretty sure that many discussions have gone on late into the night about exactly what should or shouldn’t be in it. This is mine and I hope you’ll love it too.

Serve it with creamy cauliflower mash or a simple fresh green salad on the side



Cooks in:        Serves:4-6

For the Bobotie
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp each of dried mixed herbs
  • 1 Tbsp chutney
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of freshly ground back pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 slices wholewheat bread, soaked in water, lightly squeezed and mashed with a fork (or try using my gluten-free seed loaf
  • ½ cup seedless raisins
  • 1 x 400g can lentils, drained
  • 2 Tbsp flaked almonds
  • 2 bay leaves
For the Baked egg topping
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
For the Sambal
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ½ apple, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon

  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Pinch each of salt and sugar
  • Mix together and check for seasoning

What to do

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease an ovenproof dish well. I prefer a slightly smaller dish that makes a deeper, moister bobotie.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a pan on medium-high heat and fry the mince, stirring often until loose and crumbly. Add the onions and fry until soft and translucent.

3. Add the garlic, apple, ginger, spices, herbs and chutney and continue cooking for another minute. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice then add the mashed bread, raisins, lentils and almonds.

4. Spread the mixture in the ovenproof dish and insert the bay leaves.

5. Beat all the ingredients for the topping with a fork and pour over the top.

6. Bake uncovered for 30–35 minutes, or until the custard topping is firm and golden brown.

7. While your bobotie bakes mix together your sambal and serve on the side.

Photo from 'Sarah Graham's Food Safari' by Ricardo de Leça.

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