Hello, preppers! Chloe here – content contributor at VMPS. While I’m usually behind the scenes when it comes to creating content for you all, this time I’m front and centre in introducing this truly local South African dish, Bobotie, just in time for Heritage Day.
This lentil bobotie dish was inspired by a local cooking stalwart, the late Faldela Williams. First published in 1988, her collection of recipes titled The Cape Malay Cookbook has been used to create tasty treats in my childhood home for Sunday lunches, 21st birthdays, weddings… the works! For me and many other South Africans, her recipes are the epitome of Cape Malay cooking, and this is a truly local (and vegan) way to enjoy the dish!
What is bobotie?
Bobotie (pronounced ba-boor-tea) is a Cape Malay dish, traditionally made with minced, curried meat and fruit (usually chutney) with a creamy egg-based topping.
It’s traditionally enjoyed with hot yellow rice (with raisins in it), and vegetables such as sweetened pumpkin, roasted potatoes, and curried brinjals on the side.
The Cape Malay people have influenced many parts of the South African culture, and our culinary specialities are enjoyed locally and worldwide. For dessert, treat yourself to a koeksister (pronounced koo-sister) or two – you deserve it!
Happy Heritage Day beautiful people and happy cooking!
Is this meal nutritionally well-balanced?
This meal is in fact very high in protein, thanks to the lentil and tofu combination! It also contains some veggies and healthy fats. To make this meal more balanced, you could serve it with a starch such as rice and a fresh side salad.
I recommend storing this meal in the fridge and consuming it within four days from preparation. This will ensure the ideal nutritional and taste quality. This meal is also a great freezer-friendly option.
The recipe for this meal is developed to make four moderate meals. If you prefer to eat large meals, you can simply double the recipe. In my household, I prepare moderate-sized meals for myself and large meals for my partner.
I recommend serving this meal hot – three minutes in the microwave should do. I baked this bobotie in the oven, directly in its oven-safe meal prep container. This means that you can also reheat the bobotie, before serving, in the oven!
Don’t forget to share your meals with me and other fellow VMPS preppers by tagging your posts with #veganmealprepsunday. I’d love to see how your meals turned out!
Vegan Lentil Bobotie
- 1 slice bread crust removed (whole wheat works just fine)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cups dried brown lentils rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 2 onions finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 TBSP garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 TBSP medium curry powder (or hot if you prefer a bite)
- 160 ml chutney (I used the classic Mrs Balls)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 480 g silken or soft tofu
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup plant milk (I used oat milk)
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp black Indian salt
- 1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- 4 bay leaves
- salt and milled black pepper to taste
Lentil bobotie base
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
- Soak the bread in water for 10 minutes, then squeeze dry.
- In a saute or frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Fry the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent and slightly browned. Then, add the garlic, carrots, herbs and spices and continue to fry while regularly stirring for a few more minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft and all the water has been absorbed.
- Transfer the lentil mixture to ovenproof meal prep containers and smooth over the top. Poke a few holes into the mixture with a fork, so that the topping can seep through.
- Blend all the topping ingredients together, except for the bay leaves.
- Pour the topping over lentil mixture, smooth over, and top with bay leaves. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the topping is golden and set.