Bobotie (South African Curry Meat Loaf)

  • Serves

    serves 8


The dried fruit in this curried South African meat loaf offsets its cayenne spiciness, while its almond crust adds a crunchy counterpoint to the tender ground meat. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100, with the article Meatloaf.


  • 1 cup strongly brewed hot black tea
  • 12 cup raisins
  • 12 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 12 sp. ground cumin
  • 12 sp. ground fenugreek (available at Indian Foods Company)
  • 12 sp. ground black pepper
  • 14 sp. ground fennel
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. malt or apple cider vinegar
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 8 oz. ground lamb
  • 14 cup sliced almonds


Step 1

Heat oven to 350°. Combine tea, raisins, and apricots in a bowl; let sit for 30 minutes. Drain, and reserve ⅓ cup soaking liquid; set both aside. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until lightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add turmeric, coriander, cayenne, cumin, fenugreek, pepper, fennel, and salt; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add reserved soaked fruit and soaking liquid and vinegar; cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl; add beef and lamb, and mix until evenly combined. Transfer meat mixture to a foil-lined baking sheet, and shape into an 8″ × 4″ loaf; press almonds over top of meat loaf, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat loaf reads 160°, about 40 minutes.

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