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Menu A Taste of Botswana From our Friends at &Beyond
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A Taste of Botswana From our Friends at &Beyond

Lentil Bobotie Recipe
The origins of Bobotie are steeped in the spices of Malaya and hearty appetites of the Dutch farming families who settled in the Cape in the seventeenth century. The rich and tasty spices were brought from Indonesia by slaves who were transported to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. The “Cape Malay” community have contributed much to today’s South African heritage. Bobotie has also been adopted as a favourite in neighbouring Botswana.


  • 4 cups yellow or brown uncooked lentils

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 cups chopped white onion

  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme chopped

  • 2 tbsp grated ginger

  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic

  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery stalks

  • 2 cups washed, chopped carrots

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 – 3 tbsp Mrs Balls chutney ( mango or sultana)

  • 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder

  • 2 tsp turmeric

  • 2 tbsp ground cumin

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup sultanas

  • 2 tsp salt

  • ½ cup fresh white breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 tsp turmeric, for milk

  • 2 x 400g tins chopped whole peeled tomatoes with juice (4 cups)

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated

  • ¼ cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

  • salt, to taste

  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups milk

  • 4 eggs

  • 10 bay or fresh lemon leaves

  • 30 whole almonds


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Boil lentils in water with 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf and 3 sprigs of thyme until soft. Rinse and drain well. Set aside.

Mix breadcrumbs with 1 cup milk and 1 tsp turmeric. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a large pot heat the oil and add the onions, garlic, thyme, celery, ginger and carrot. Sauté until soft, but not brown. Add the mushrooms, curry powder, turmeric, cumin and paprika. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and soy sauce. Sauté for 2-3 minutes for lentils to absorb flavours.

Add the tomato and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add the chutney, vinegar, sultanas and salt. Stir in milk and bread mixture. Continue to simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat; season with salt, pepper, parsley and zest. Divide mixture amongst 10 large ramekins or in a large black port or casserole dish. Beat the 4 eggs and 2 cups milk well together. Pour the milk mixture over the top of the lentils.

Decorate with leaves and whole almonds. Bake bobotie for 15-20 min until egg is set.

Serve with sambals, vegetables on the side and yellow rice.

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Dining table setup on deck at sunset at Sandible Okavango Safari Lodge
Dining table setup on deck at sunset at Sandible Okavango Safari Lodge
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