Tofu Bobotie

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Low-FODMAP, Vegetarian

South African cuisine is a fusion of vegetables, meat, spices, and cooking methods from different ethnic communities with roots in Africa, Indo-Asia, England, Holland, India, France, and Germany. As these ideas and flavors come together, you get some of the most unique and scrumptious dishes around!

One of the most iconic South African dishes is bobotie, a spiced, minced meat dish baked with an egg-based topping. It’s generally considered a Cape Malay dish, although the exact origins of the recipe are unknown. In any event, it’s a smorgasbord of Malay, Indo-Asian, and Dutch flavors and influence.

Since this dish is so tasty, I had to make a vegetarian version. The trick here is to use spiced crumbled tofu to mimic the minced meat. Then, I’ve added vegetables to bulk up the dish and topped it with a dairy-free, gluten-free egg topping.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this recipe. I’ve broken it down into bite-size sections in keep things as simple as possible. It is well worth the effort and will leave your family and friends fully satisfied and impressed with your international cooking skills!

Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins
Equipment: 3 mixing bowls, 2 non-stick or cast-iron pans, 1 oven-safe baking dish

“Mince” Tofu:

  1. Squeeze as much water out of the tofu as possible with your hands. Then crumble the tofu into a large mixing bowl. Add all of the spices and mix together. Cook the tofu in a stir-fry pan coated with garlic-infused olive oil until the tofu is drier, yellow-orange, and aromatic, about 15 minutes. Turn off the burner and set aside. Prepare the veggies.
  • 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • Pepper to taste

Veggie Stir-fry:

  1. While the tofu cooks, cut up the veggies and stir-fry them in another pan with garlic-infused olive oil for 10 minutes. Then, turn off the burner and set aside. Prepare the bread mixture.
  • 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, sliced
  • 1/2 eggplant, sliced and quartered
  • 1 patty pan or other summer squash, chopped

Bread Mixture:

  1. While the tofu and veggies are cooking, place 3 slices of grain-free bread (link) in a deep bowl and pour the almond milk, vinegar, and lemon juice over the bread. Let it soak for 5 minutes.
  • 3 slices of grain-free bread (link)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Assemble the Bobotie:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Once the tofu has finished cooking, scoop out the bread slices only and add them to the tofu pan (reserve the almond milk mixture for later). Mash the bread slices into pieces. Now, add the tofu and bread mixture to the veggie pan and mix together.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk one egg. Pour the egg into the veggie/tofu pan and mix together. Then pour the entire bobotie mixture into a large, greased baking dish.
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil, for greasing
  1. Whisk the remaining two eggs into the reserved almond milk mixture. Pour the mixture over the bobotie and add four bay leaves to the top. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is starting to brown.
  • 2 eggs
  • Reserved almond milk mixture
  • 4 bay leaves
  1. Serve the bobotie with the following ingredients:
  • White rice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped and raw
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Chutney of your choice


Related Recipe: South African Muesli Health Rusks

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