Savour SA heritage with a vegetarian twist

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Roodeberg, the iconic heritage wine with a lifetime of stories in every bottle, enjoys a powerful connection with cherished South African food traditions.

While Roodeberg may have evolved over time since its first release in 1949, the wine remains rooted in history and continues to bring people together with its outstanding quality and consistent drinking pleasure. The same can be said of deliciously fragrant Bobotie, the iconic family staple that has been lovingly refined by home cooks over many generations.

Inspired by Roodeberg’s journey as an evolving contemporary wine with a proud heritage, well-known food writer, Ilse van der Merwe, has created a luscious vegetarian twist to traditional Bobotie. By replacing mince with the goodness of aubergines and earthy lentils topped with a dairy-free coconut custard, this is a feast for the whole family. Her super easy recipe is especially moreish when shared around the table with a glass or two of Roodeberg.

The Roodeberg Classic Red Blend is vibrant and silky smooth, erupting in your glass with aromatic layers of fresh berries, ripe plums and dark chocolate. For enduring meat lovers, this beautifully integrated multi-varietal blend remains the wine of choice with all traditional cuts hot off the coals. The wine’s fruity, spicy character goes down just as beautifully with meat-free alternatives.

Bobotie with a twist

Ingredients (serves 6)

For the bobotie:

30 ml vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely grated

1 knob ginger, finely grated

15 ml mild curry powder

15 ml garam masala or mild masala

5 ml ground turmeric

5 ml ground cinnamon

5 ml ground cumin

5 ml ground coriander

1 large aubergine, cut into 1x1cm cubes

2 x 400 g cans lentils, drained

1-2 slices white bread, processed to crumbs

1 cup water

60 ml fruit chutney (plus more for serving)

15 ml Worcester sauce

15 ml tomato paste

125 ml seedless raisins (optional)

Salt & pepper

A squeeze of lemon juice, optional

For the custard layer:

1 x 400 g coconut milk

3 eggs

A few bay leaves (or curry leaves)

Salt & pepper

Method

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium size pot and fry the onions until they are soft but not too dark. Add the garlic and ginger, stir and cook for a minute. Add the curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, stir and cook for a minute.

Add the aubergine and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils, breadcrumbs, water, chutney, Worcester sauce, tomato paste and raisins, then stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often (it can burn easily). Season generously with salt & pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a baking dish and smooth the surface. Preheat the oven to 200° C.

In a mixing bowl, add the coconut milk and eggs and season with salt & pepper. Whisk until well mixed then pour over the bobotie. Press a few bay leaves into the top, then bake for about 25 minutes or until the top layer starts to turn brown on the edges and is fully cooked.

Remove and serve with your choice of sides such as yellow rice, toasted coconut, chutney, tomato sambal and fresh coriander.

Recipe by Ilse van der Merwe of www.thefoodfox @The_FoodFox

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