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Digging through the freezer compartment for one of my frozen vegetable stew portions, I found another small foil-wrapped package, and remembered the attempt at a vegetarian African meatloaf I’d made a few weeks ago, which for some reason I’d not got round to blogging about. As both packages were small, and it’d been a long day, and frankly, because I’m an unashamed hog, I decided to defrost and cook both for dinner.

The http://www.allrecipes.co.uk website has quite a list of “African” recipes (authenticity unknown, apologies to any genuine African cooks). I’d had success before with several wonderfully spicy stews, and with a pack of quorn mince littering up the freezer I thought I’d have a go at “babotie”, which is a South African recipe…..

Babotie
1 medium onion sliced
1 slice white bread
250ml milk or soy milk
500g quorn or soymince
Tomato puree
1 tea-spoon curry powder
2 eggs
Curry powder
turmeric
Vinegar
Teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves

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Pour a few spoonfuls of water in a frying pan, bring to the boil, then add the onion slices. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Bring to the boil and add the onion slices. Remove the onions, and pour out the water. Return the onions to the hot pan and brown slightly. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Soak the slice of bread quickly in the milk and squeeze it out. Set the drained milk aside.
Mix the bread, mince, puree, eggs, turmeric, curry powder, vinegar, sugar and salt/black pepper in a large bowl.
Grease a baking tin, and pour in the mixture, adding the bay leaves.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Beat the remaining egg with some milk. Remove the bayleaves, pour over the meatloaf and bake for another 20 -25 minutes.

On the day I did this it was extremely hot, and for some reason the egg topping didn’t really appeal so I cooked it without. Having cooked it and tasted I realised that actually the egg would really complement the strongly flavoured meatloaf, so when I reheated it today, I fried an egg to go with it.

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