Kefta Tagine


  • 700 gr (1 lb 9 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 eggs



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons harissa (page 250), or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves


  • Put the lamb, onion, garlic, herbs and spices in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium – high heat, add the meatballs in batches and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until browned all over. Remove the meatballs and set them aside in a bowl. Wipe the frying pan with paper towels.
  • To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in the frying pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and cook for the 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and harissa and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Stir in the coriander, then carefully break the eggs into the simmering tagine and cook until just set. Season and serve with crusty bread to mop up the juice.