Whenever I’m back home from a trip, I always recreate a vegetarian recipe from the country I’ve just been to. I’ve made shakshuka after my trip to Israel and vegan Pad Thai after my trip to Thailand. A few months back I’ve been to South Africa, where people really like meat! I was able to find many vegetarian options in the country itself (I’ve listed my favorites here) but all their staples contained meat (bobotie, bunny chow, biltong…).
I decided I wanted to create a vegetarian version of Bobotie. Bobotie is probably the most well-known signature dish of South Africa, it’s an oven dish with minced meat and an egg-based topping.
When I was looking for vegetarian recipes, all of them contained lentils. And even though I’m a big fan of lentils, my boyfriend doesn’t really like them. I decided that the easiest way of creating a vegetarian Bobotie recipe is by simply substituting the minced meat for vegetarian minced meat! In my supermarket they have several veggie minced meat options, I went for one that was made from tofu but you can just go for the one you like.
The herbs make this dish very tasty! I’ve made a recipe for 2 portions, but you can easily double it if you want to make it for 4 people.
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 package vegetarian minced meat
2 ts curry powder
1 ts cloves
1/2 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts nutmeg
1 tbs mango chutney
1 tbs sultanas
3 bay leaves
4 tbs plant based milk
Mash up the bread with a fork and add it to the mixture. I took out the cloves and bay leaf at this point, but you can also leave it in and fish it out when you’re eating it. Pour the mixture in an oven proof dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
Beat the egg and the milk together and poor over the bobotie. Top with the two remaining bay leaves and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The veggie bobotie is ready when the egg mixture has set.