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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2006

African curried meatloaf makes tasty dinner-party entree

By Carol Devenot

 •  Seasoned by the South

The Newcomers Club of Hawai'i Kai has a Recipe Group, to which I belong. We hold a monthly globe-hopping lunch, and in January the meal's destination was Africa. The result: a spread of exotic, delicious dishes, which I will write about in the months to come.

Sherry Nicholson served bobotie (pronounced buh-bo-tee). The South African dish is like a curried lamb meatloaf, with interesting spices and a savory "frosting" of custard.

The dish originated in Batavia (now Jakarta) during Indonesia's Dutch colony days. The dish then traveled around the world as the Dutch settled in other countries, notably South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Though now considered an African dish, it is very much a product of the white elite there, not a dish with African roots.

At one time, the dish was made with ground mutton and pork, seasoned with ginger, marjoram, lemon rind and dried fruit, like a mincemeat-and-meatloaf hybrid. Today it's made with beef, pork and lamb. Curry powder is used instead of a homemade spice mixture.

I lightened the recipe by using ground turkey, multigrain bread, skim milk and an egg substitute. It took more than 30 minutes to prepare, but it was worth it! The dish is a great dinner-party main course or special potluck addition.


  • 1 cup coarse crumbs from 2 slices fresh multigrain bread

  • 1 cup skim milk

  • Butter-flavored spray or extra-virgin olive oil spray

  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup raisins, or dried currants or cranberries

  • 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3/4 cup egg substitute

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground turkey

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (divided use)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

  • Mango chutney for garnish

    In a small mixing bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the skim milk for about 15 minutes, then drain in a sieve over a bowl. Lightly press the bread crumbs to remove the excess milk. Reserve excess milk for the custard topping.

    Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with butter-flavored spray and set aside.

    In a heavy skillet, saute the onion, garlic and apple with butter-flavored spray until soft, about 12 minutes. Add raisins, almonds, curry powder and sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup egg substitute, pressed breadcrumbs, turkey, raisin mixture, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and blend until well combined. Do not over-mix.

    Spread meat mixture evenly in the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. While the turkey loaf is baking, mix half a cup of egg substitute, reserved milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Remove the turkey loaf from the oven and pour off excess fat. Using a round chopstick, poke holes in the loaf; pour the egg mixture over the loaf and return to the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until set. Serve hot with a dollop of mango chutney.

    Makes 9 (3-by-3-inch) servings.

  • Per serving: 320 calories, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 22 g protein

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.