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tagine with kefta and egg

This dish is obviously not French, but Moroccan. As you will see throughout this blog, I often cook Moroccan recipes, since there is a large North-African community in France and dishes such as couscous and tagine are extremely popular. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find a good, authentic Moroccan restaurant in New York (where the focus is more on the food than on the belly-dancers and the sheeshas).

Keftas are one of my favorite. This dish is a typical, everyday Moroccan staple. It utilizes the basic Moroccan spices and is quite inexpensive to make. I prefer to use ground lamb, because it is more flavorful than beef, but both are an option.

To make this tagine, I used a special pan - also called a tagine. You can find some made of clay - mine is a cast-iron version from Le Creuset, a somewhat costly investment worth every dollar for its sturdiness and cooking quality.

I learned this recipe during a trip to Marrakech two years ago, where we took a wonderful cooking class at Souk Cuisine, under the lovely Gemma's guidance. We also brought back some spices from the souk, as seen in the photo above. One common spice, which happens to be used in this recipe as well as in couscous, is ras el hanout, a blend of several spices such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, chili peppers, paprika, clove... It is not so easy to find in the US - but there are some at Williams Sonoma, for instance.

The addition of the eggs at the end of the dish makes it very special and rich. I hope you will enjoy it!


Tagine with kefta and egg (serves 3-4)


Meatballs:

-      500g minced lamb or beef
-      1/2 onion, grated
-      1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
-      1 tsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
-      1/3 tsp. ground ginger
-      1 tsp. ground paprika
-      1/3 tsp. ras el hanout
-      1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
-      1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Tomato Sauce:

-      1 onion, grated
-      1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
-      1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
-      2 tbsp. olive oil
-      1/4 tsp. ground ginger
-      1/2 tsp. ground paprika
-      1 garlic clove, finely diced
-      4 grated tomatoes
-      4 eggs
  


Place tagine on the stove on a low heat. Add all ingredients for the sauce except tomatoes, stir well and simmer 5 minutes. Add grated tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.


  

Mix all ingredients for the meatballs. Roll little balls of the meat. Add meatballs. Cover the tagine and simmer until the meatballs are well cooked (5-10 minutes). Break the eggs above the tagine, cover the tagine and simmer until the eggs are set.

Serve with couscous.


Recipe adapted from Gemma's Souk Cuisine booklet.

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