Lentil Bobotie Cigars – A Vegetarian Delight

One of Makweti’s most popular hors d’œuvres are our homemade, bite-sized Bobotie Cigars  – a perfect combination of traditional South African cuisine and delicate fine dining. Of course, we couldn’t let our vegetarian guests miss out on the full flavour of this mouthwatering treat, so we’ve concocted a lentil-based recipe that’s just as good!

The secret to great bobotie depends less on whether one uses meat or legumes, and more on the quality and blend of spices and herbs, and preparation techniques. We just love this Cape-Malay delight, and we’re so happy to share the recipe with our vegetarian friends, or those looking for a delicious “Meat-free Monday” starter.


  • 1 fairly thick slice crustless bread (white or brown)
  • 150 ml milk
  • 25 ml oil
  • 10ml butter
  • 1/2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25 ml curry powder
  • 10ml salt
  • 25ml chutney
  • 15ml Worcester sauce
  • 5ml turmeric
  • 25ml brown vinegar
  • 250g cooked Lentils
  • 50g ml sultanas (don’t replace with raisins – they are too sweet; sultanas are much better for this recipe)
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch each salt and turmeric
  • double layers sheets of Phyllo pastry, brushed with melted butter and stuck together, cut into six squares

Cooking method

  1. Soak bread in Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic.
  2. When onions are soft, add curry powder, salt, chutney, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix
  3. Drain and mash bread and reserve milk. Add bread to pan together with lentils and sultanas.
  4. Cook over low heat, remove from stove. Add 1 beaten egg, mix well, then spoon into each brushed phyllo pastry squares and roll into a Cigar shape.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 min or until golden brown.

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