Recipe: Bobotie (South African Curried Meatloaf)


Bobotie - South African Curried MeatloafMeat + fruit. It’s a combination you must love to enjoy this meatloaf, but I am and I do (if you smiled at the taste of your first bacon-wrapped date, this recipe is for you). I’d never heard of bobotie (pronounced BO-booh-tea) before last week, when I discovered a wild and wonderful recipe on Saveur. This isn’t the first time I’ve made a Paleo-friendly meatloaf, but a curried version that’s described as a contender for the national dish of South Africa sounded like too much fun to pass up!

After I started researching different versions of the recipe, I found this centuries-old ethnic dish mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, not to mention on the sites of culinary celebrities such as Nigella Lawson and Rachael Ray. How had I never heard of this dish before? In any case, I know it now and it’s a keeper: a combination of rich, pungent meat and jammy fruit, warming spices and the crunch of a slivered almond topping (I opted to replace the traditional custard topping of eggs and milk with nuts). Don’t let the long ingredient list discourage you from trying this Paleo-friendly recipe…it’s a matter of moments to spoon in the rich mixture of spices. Enjoy!

Makes 1 Loaf

  • 1 cup strongly brewed hot black tea 
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Combine tea, raisins, and apricots in a bowl, let soak for 30 minutes. Drain, and reserve ⅓ cup soaking liquid. Set both aside.
  2. Roughly chop the onion, and finely grate with the garlic in a food processor. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and onion until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add turmeric, coriander, cayenne, cumin, pepper, fennel, and salt. Cook (stirring frequently) until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add soaked fruit and soaking liquid plus the vinegar, cook until almost all liquid evaporates.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl then add beef, lamb and almond flour, mix until evenly combined. Transfer meat mixture to a foil-lined loaf pan.
  6. Scatter almonds in a single layer over the top of the meat loaf, pressing gently to adhere the slivers to the meat mixture.
  7. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Cool, then gently remove from the pan and slice.
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4 thoughts on “Recipe: Bobotie (South African Curried Meatloaf)

  1. Pingback: CFSR WOD 3.28.2013 | CrossFit San Ramon

  2. Pingback: Recipe: Mulligatawny Soup | GrokGrub

  3. This is a mouthwatering recipe, I love the idea of mixing dried fruit, spices and meat! You don’t specify when to add in the almond flour, I imagine when you stir all the ingredients together? Thanks for the great idea!

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