100g/3½oz macadamia nuts (unsalted peanuts can also be used)
50g/2oz blanched almonds
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cayenne chillies (the small green ones), de-seeded and finely chopped
2.5cm/1in fresh ginger, peeled and chopped, or grated finely
2 large carrots, chopped
2 tsp spice mix or curry powder
2 slices of white bread soaked in 100ml/4fl oz milk
100g/3½oz ready-to-eat dried apricots, quartered
½ lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the spice mix, gently fry all the spices in a dry frying pan over a low heat until the cumin seeds start to spit and they smell toasted and fragrant. Grind the spices together in a spice or coffee grinder until you have a fine powder.
For the bobotie, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Place the macadamia nuts and the almonds on a baking tray in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Once the nuts have cooled slightly, roughly chop them.
Fry the onions over a low to medium heat in the oil and butter for 5-10 minutes, or until they are transluscent but not brown.
Add the garlic, chillies, ginger, carrots and curry powder, and cook, stirring all the time for another two minutes.
Add the soaked bread and milk, stirring well so that the bread is broken down and evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Stir in the toasted nuts and the apricots, then add the lemon juice. Season the mixture to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Put the mixture into a baking dish, smooth it out and stand the leaves in it so that they can be removed later. If you re using lemon zest then just scatter it over the mixture. Bake for 5-10 minutes while you make the topping.
For the topping, beat the milk, yoghurt or cream with the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the bobotie and bake for another 30 minutes.
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