Traditional Moroccan Kefta Tagine

This is an easy recipe for the popular Moroccan Meatball Tagine. Well-seasoned meatballs are slowly simmered in a sauce made from onion, garlic, tomatoes and spices. These ingredients combined create a deep, rich flavor that all come together in a savory meal.

Eggs are an optional but classic addition to the dish. The meatballs can be made from ground lamb, ground beef, or a combination of the two. Use a traditional tagine or a deep, wide skillet with a lid.

Recipe for 4 persons

Prep Time: 25 minutes, Cook Time: 70 minutes

Total Time: 95 minutes

 

Ingredients

Kefta Meatballs:

  • 1 lb. (½ kg) ground beef or lamb (or a combo)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped very fine
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tsp flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Sauce:

  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) fresh, ripe tomatoes or 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Ras el Hanout
  • 2 tsp olive oil

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  • 3 or 4 eggs (optional)

Preparations

Start Cooking the Tomato Sauce

  1. Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes OR cut the tomatoes in half, seed them and grate them.
  2. Mix the tomatoes, onions and the rest of the sauce ingredients in the base of a tagine or in a large, deep skillet. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Note: If using a tagine, place a diffuser between the tagine and burner, and allow 10 to 15 minutes for the tomato sauce to reach a simmer.)
  3. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, just enough heat to maintain the simmer but low enough to avoid scorching. Allow the tomatoes to cook for at least 15 to 20 minutes before adding the meatballs.

Make the Kefta Meatballs

  1. Combine all of the kefta ingredients, using your hands to knead in the spices. Shape the kefta mixture into very small meatballs the size of large cherries – about 3/4 inch in diameter.
  2. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, along with a little water – 1/4 cup (60 ml) is usually sufficient – and cover. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.

Break the eggs over the top of the meatballs, and cover. Cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are solid and the yolks are partially set. Serve immediately.

Looking for an unique experience?

Visit Morocco and participate in a cooking workshop by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook), and get intimate knowledge of the incredible diverse Moroccan cuisine influenced by the country’s interaction with other cultures and nations over the centuries. Let Berber Tours of Morocco provide you with a custom itinerary to give you a unique experience.

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