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  • Writer's pictureMerrow Savouries


This time of year, we all need good, hot wholesome food, so how is this idea for something rather different? It is my adaptation of the famous South African dish called BOBOTIE. The original contains lamb or beef mince but there are vegetarian versions, and this version exchanges the meat for butterbeans - making it suitable for vegetarians and therefore

so de rigeur at the moment.

Do bear with me though because when you try to describe the dish you may well think ‘what?’ So, here goes - it is ‘a slightly sweet but savoury curried butterbean mix with an egg custard top! See – Yuk!

But perhaps best think of it as in the same league as a Greek moussaka or even British shepherd’s pie - but honestly this version really is very delicious, quite unusual and like all the best recipes - nice and simple to make.

So why not grit your teeth, trust in Sue and give it a go?

Cut and discard the crusts of 3 slices of white bread and make the bread into breadcrumbs. Soak in half a pint of milk.

Whilst soaking, chop one peeled dessert apple and one onion and soften slightly in a saucepan in a little oil and butter (the oil stops the butter burning).

Then add 2 teaspoons of your favourite curry powder, a tablespoon of mango chutney, 2 oz of big juicy raisins or sultanas, and 2 oz of flaked almonds and heat through for just a minute.

Now add 2 tins of drained butterbeans and the milky bread (the ‘yuk’may kick in here!), season well and mix all together.

Pour the thick curried butterbean mixture into a greased ovenproof dish and pour over 3 eggs that you have beaten together with the milk left over from the soaking bread. More yuk?

Bake, uncovered, for about an hour at about 180’ (gas mark 4) until the mixture is set but with a wobble and golden brown. Serves 3-4 depending on whether you like it or not and want seconds! And of course, easy to make more for a party or family get together when that joyful times returns later this year (just as you would make a larger lasagne or cottage pie).

Delicious served on its own or with chutneys and yogurt and a couple of salads –slices of big tomatoes and cucumber or perhaps a crunchy coleslaw or carrot and pea shoot salad? This was how we also served it at our vegetarian restaurant – and was always devoured.

It is one of those dishes that if you like it – you just want more!

As per all my recipes this can be adapted to your own taste, add more curry powder if you like your food with a kick, substitute the mango for apricot jam, omit the almonds or add walnuts or sprinkle more on top as the dish is cooking, perhaps make it ‘thicker and more wholesome’ with more soaked bread or an extra tin of beans or go back to the original meat dish and substitute the butterbeans for cooked lamb or beef mince. Whatever you do though, do try it, and I do hope you like it!!

I think it is just delicious. Honest.



Merrow Savouries

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