Kefta Tagine is a savory dish made with spiced meatballs (kefta) cooked in a tagine, a traditional clay cooking vessel with a conical lid. The dish originated in Morocco, and it has been a staple of Moroccan cuisine for centuries. 

The tagine itself has a long history in North African cuisine. It’s believed that the Berbers, indigenous people in North Africa, invented the tagine to cook food over open fires. The cone-shaped lid helps to circulate steam and condensation, which keeps the food moist and flavorful.

Although this is the traditional cooking method, this dish can also be made over the stove using a deep dish skillet!

To make the kefta, ground beef is mixed with a variety of spices, herbs, and onions, then shaped into small balls. When it comes to flavors, this dish is packed with a variety of spices, including cumin, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon. The dish is typically served with a tomato-based sauce and accompanied by a side of crusty bread or couscous. The combination of spices in this dish are mouth-watering and embody traditional Moroccan cuisine.

In Moroccan culture, food is a significant part of daily life and social gatherings. Kefta Tagine is often served at special occasions such as weddings, holidays, and family gatherings. 

Many chefs have created their own spin on this recipe and some variations include adding different vegetables, such as bell peppers or eggplant, or using different meats, such as lamb or chicken.

If you’d like to make my version of this dish, follow the steps below!

Recipe

  1. In a bowl, combine the onion, ground meat, spices and herbs. Mix thoroughly, kneading together for about 2 minutes.
  2. Roll the meat mixture into small meatballs. (I was able to make about 16)
  3. Cover the meatballs and set aside.
  4. Heat your tagine or deep dish skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  5. While the oil is heating up, prep the tomatoes. You can use fresh tomatoes for this, but to make it simpler, I opted for canned plum tomatoes. In a bowl, squeeze the tomatoes to create a crushed mixture, making sure to save the juices. Set aside.
  6. Once the oil is hot, add your onion and bell pepper and sauté until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  7. Add the tomato mixture. Cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, mixing occasionally. You can add water as needed. (I used about 2 cups for the entire process)
  8. After 15 minutes, with the back of your spoon, break down any extra tomato pieces to create a smooth sauce. Continue to add water as needed, cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  9. Add the meatballs back to the pot and cover. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  10. Lower the heat and add your eggs, making sure to keep the yolks in tact. Cover and let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  11. Top with parsley and cilantro and serve over rice! Enjoy.

Ingredients

Meatballs
  • 1lb beef or lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Sauce
  • 32oz peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 small green pepper, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 eggs, to garnish

 

 

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