Bobotie (South African Curried Meatloaf)

Bobotie - South African Curried Meatloaf

Meat + fruit. It’s a combination you must love to enjoy this meatloaf, but 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!

Bobotie (South African Curried Meatloaf)
Both savory and sweet, this is meatloaf as you've never tasted it before (no bread in the ingredients. . . completely grain-free!)
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup strong black tea
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a loaf pan with foil, set aside.
  2. Combine the tea, raisins, and apricots in a bowl, let soak for 30 minutes. Drain, and reserve ⅓ cup soaking liquid. Set both aside.
  3. Roughly chop the onion, and finely shred with the garlic in a food processor. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and onion until lightly caramelized, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric, coriander, cayenne, cumin, pepper, fennel, and salt. Cook while stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add soaked fruit and soaking liquid plus the vinegar. Cook until almost all liquid evaporates.
  6. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl then add the beef, lamb, egg and almond flour, mix until evenly combined. Transfer meat mixture to the foil-lined loaf pan.
  7. Scatter almonds in a single layer over the top of the meat loaf, pressing gently to adhere the slivers to the meat mixture.
  8. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Cool enough to handle, then gently remove from the pan and slice.

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  1. Camille says

    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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