November 7, 2012 in Vegetables

After the debacle regarding the value of the prizes won by Masterchef SA (said to be in the region of R 8 000 000) Deena Naidoo,  has finally opened his restaurant, Aarya, in Montecasino  last week. He is currently writing a weekly food column in a local Indian newspaper, Post. His recipe for a vegetarian lentil and rice bobotie is an interesting adaptation  of the traditional spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.  After trying out his recipe I have to admit it’s fabulous and give him credit for being such a creative cook he certainly understands how to blend the different flavours and make it work.

For those like me who did not know the origin of the traditional bobotie – it is said to have originated in the island of Jakarta which was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. It probably arrived in South Africa with the advent of slaves and political exiles mainly Javanese. These people became known as the Cape Malays and have had a tremendous influence on South Africa’s culinary scene.



250ml lentils

30ml sunflower oil

1 medium onion, grated

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp turmeric

5ml chilli powder

5ml ground cumin

250ml cooked basmati rice

80ml milk

80gr raisins

1 grated apple

Custard Topping

2 eggs

160ml yoghurt

Bay leaves to taste

Soak the lentils overnight in water. Cook until al dente. Drain and keep aside.

Soak the cooked rice in milk.

Heat a large pan. Add the oil and sauté the onion, together with the spices. Add the lentils, raisins, apple and rice to the onion mixture and season to taste.

Pack tightly in a greased ovenproof pan (18 x 14cm).

Mix the topping ingredients together and pour over the lentil and rice mix. Garnish with bay leaves.

Cover with foil and bake at 180 C for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes until the topping is set.



  1. Such a nice healthy alternative, and more economical too!

  2. Very nice post, Mitzi. The stuff I dream of … xxx

  3. Love Deena and love the recipe. Thanks for sharing

  4. Lovely recipe!! Have a fabulous day, Mitzi!

  5. I just love this recipe Mitzi darling. Bobotie is one of my favourites xxxx have a great evening xxx jan

  6. This is a lovely recipe and i would love to try it–without the eggs, The picture looks fantastic

  7. I will have a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Its easy to put together and the end result is yum. I have to admit that I only buy Greek double cream smooth yoghurt ( even when I am dieting).

  8. does the milk to into the mixture after you have soaked the rice in it?

  9. Aw, this was a really nice post. is really good. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

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