Vegetarian Bobotie

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“This is my own vegetarian adaptation of the traditional Cape Malay dish of my country. I have tried to approximate flavour and texture as closely as possible and have retained all the ingredients my mother used when making it - aside from the mince, of course :) This project has been very important to me as most of the vegetarian versions I have found online so far are rather inaccurate. Bobotie was one of my favourite dishes as a child and I wanted to preserve and share that memory as much as I could.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 250 g lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large fresh tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chutney
  • 1 large handful raisins
  • 40 g sliced almonds
  • For the topping
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 -150 ml milk (not entirely sure about the amount as I do it by feel, your topping should have a very pale yellow c)
  • 2 bay leaves (I tear mine up a bit, but some people put them in whole, up to you)


  1. Rinse lentils until water runs clear.
  2. Cover lentils with water and pre-cook for 30min (you may need to top the water up from time to time).
  3. Drain lentils.
  4. Preheat oven to 150C.
  5. Saute onion and tomato.
  6. Add curry, tumeric, salt and pepper.
  7. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add raisins, almonds, chutney, onion and tomato to lentils.
  9. Mix and place in baking dish.
  10. Shake up topping ingredients and pour over lentils.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours (egg topping should have risen all the way to the middle)
  12. Please note:.
  13. I spice my bobotie mildy and use a slightly sweet sultana chutney - one preference found in the Cape. Some people make theirs hotter and use Mrs. Ball's Original Chutney, which is very tasty and is less sweet. I recommend you experiment, but remember, the dish should be spicy as in flavoursome, not as in burn-your-mouth.
  14. Also, adding a bit more diced onion will add more texture to the lentils.

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