It’s definitely time for warming winter dishes. I hadn’t made a tagine for ages and wanted to do something reasonable quick so settled on this popular Moroccan meatball and egg tagine. You can make it as spicy, or not, as you like by adding more or less cayenne and chilli. With the quantities that I’ve added the spices are aromatic not hot. I served this with a green salad and Turkish flatbread but couscous would also be good. Depending on how hungry you are, allow one or two eggs per person.
Ingredients (for 3-4)
500g lamb mince
2-3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika (not smoked)
1 tsp ground coriander
Good pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Good pinch of saffron threads, broken up in your fingers
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped coriander or parsley for garnish
Mix the lamb mince together with ground cumin, sweet paprika, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. It’s easiest to use your hands to do this. Divide the mixture up and form 12 meatballs. Put them onto a plate and place in the fridge while you make the sauce.
Heat a little oil in a a heavy frying pan. Add the onion and cook till soft and not too brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in all the spices.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas and water. Mix well and leave the sauce to simmer on low heat, covered, for at least 15 minutes. Add the meatballs, cover again and leave for about 5 minutes. Then turn the meatballs over in the sauce and leave to cook for another 10-15 minutes. If the sauce seems too dry, add more water.
Make space for the eggs and break them into the sauce. Leave on a low heat until the eggs are cooked to your liking. They’ll speed up if you cover the dish.
Garnish with coriander and serve.