Pic of Root vegetable bobotie with spiced cabbage

Root vegetable bobotie with spiced cabbage

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Vegetarian mains

Root vegetable bobotie with spiced cabbage

Main Serves 4 1h 35 min
Bobotie is a spiced dish from South Africa, originally using leftover meat; nowadays it's often made with minced beef or pork. This one is a veggie version and uses up any odds and ends of root veg. Use a mixture of whatever you have: carrots, celeriac, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes are all fine. A few added cooked lentils or leftover roast lamb or beef would be good too. The topping should look a bit like a moussaka.


for the bobotie

  • 2 slices white bread
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp mild or medium curry powder
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 kg mixed root veg, peeled and cut into small 1cm dice
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • 50g sultanas
  • 200ml water
  • 4 eggs
  • 475g plain full-fat yoghurt
  • little nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 8 bay leaves

for the cabbage

  • 3 tbsp oil for frying
  • 400g cabbage, core removed, finely shredded
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 dried red chilli, finely chopped


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 1h 15 min


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

For the bobotie

  • Step 1

    In a bowl, soak the bread in the milk.
  • Step 2

    In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the onion for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Step 3

    Add the root vegetables, mango chutney, sultanas and water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 4

    Break up the bread and add to the pan, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a deep sided baking dish (about 20cm x 30cm).
  • Step 5

    In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and yoghurt together. Add a little freshly grated nutmeg. Pour evenly over the veg.
  • Step 6

    Lay the bay leaves on top and bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and fluffy.

For the spiced cabbage

  • Step 1

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the cabbage and lightly fry for about 5 minutes; you want it to have softened but still have some bite.
  • Step 2

    Remove the cabbage to a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil, the cumin, coconut and chilli to the pan.
  • Step 3

    Fry for a minute or so, until the coconut is turning golden. Pour over the cabbage to serve.

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