Posts Tagged ‘Moroccan’

Lamb Tagine

An easy casserole with North African spices and fruit. Suitable for cold nights in as well as entertaining good friends –  which we have been doing lots of due to snow days. Serve with plain couscous or with Golden Couscous and Shirazi salad.

Wine Suggestion: A guest brought over a Roda Sela from Rioja, which had juicy red fruit flavours to complement the spices and a polished, refined finish.

Lamb Tagine – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1-2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1.1kg cubed boneless lamb
  • 450g onions
  • 3 big cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 175g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 50g sultanas
  • 85g toasted flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 300ml tomato juice
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml hot lamb stock
  • fresh coriander, to serve
  • couscous, to serve

Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas 3.

Mix the spices together in a small bowl.

Put the lamb into a large mixing bowl, then tip in the spices and mix well with your hands.

Peel and grate the onions (you might like to use a food processor if you have one to save your eyes). Peel and chop the garlic, then crush with the salt using the back of your knife.

Put a large frying pan over a high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add a quarter of the lamb cubes and cook until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon into a large casserole dish. Brown the rest of the lamb in batches, adding another tablespoon of the oil each time.

When the meat is all browned, turn the heat down to low and add the last tablespoon of oil, then stir in the onions and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until softened but not browned.

Add the lamb stock to the onions and stir to scrape any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the onions and stock over the lamb, then add the remaining ingredients. Bring the casserole to the boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the lamb is completely tender.

(Original recipe by Antony Worrall Thompson in BBC Good Food Magazine, January 2001.)

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This is really tasty and aromatic and much quicker to prepare than most tagine. You can serve with some plain buttered couscous but the Golden Couscous below is particularly good and the two brightly coloured dishes look fab when served in a bowl and scattered with fresh herbs.

Wine Suggestion: we love the wines from Lebanon as they tend to go well with the cuisine of the Middle East and North Africa. For this dish we opened the Massaya Terrasses de Baalbeck, a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah from the slopes of Mount Lebanon, above the Temple of Baalbeck. Earthy spice and pure, it provided a nice lift to the drizzly days we’ve had recently.

Lamb kofta tagine – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely chopped root ginger
  • ½ red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint


  • 500g lamb mince
  • 125g very finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cardamom seeds (crush some green cardamom pods with a pestle & mortar or the end of a rolling pin to get the seeds)
  • ½ tsp paprika

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300ºF/Gas 2.

Put the oil and butter into a large casserole dish over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 6-8 minutes or until starting to turn a light golden colour.

Stir in the turmeric, 1 tbsp of the lemon juice and half the chopped coriander. Add the tin of tomatoes and the sugar, then bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the kofta by placing all of the ingredients into a large bowl and seasoning with salt and black pepper. Mix together well using your hands, then roll into about 30 small balls.

Carefully lower the koftas into the pot with a spoon and gently roll them to cover in the sauce, then cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Season to taste, then stir in the remaining lemon juice and sprinkle with the chopped mint and coriander.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen, HarperCollins, 2013.)

Lamb Kofta Tagine with Golden Couscous

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Maroccan kale, chickpea and squash stew

So here we are in October which in our house means thoughts are turning towards Autumn veg, warm casseroles and roast dinners. Here’s a really delicious, but healthy, idea for your first butternut squash.

Wine Suggestion: A little tricky this match but we have two suggestions: a juicy and spicy, Californian Zinfandel – get a good one if you can, like Cline or Ridge; or the Altos de Torona Albariño, a richly fruited white with spices and textures to complement the spices in the dish.

Moroccan chickpea, squash & cavolo nero stew – serves 4

  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g butternut squash, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted in a dry pan and lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 200g cavolo nero, shredded
  • a handful fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Put the tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, drizzle over 2 tbsp olive oil, season well and roast in the oven about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour 2 tbsp oil into a large saucepan and add the squash, thyme, garlic and onion. Season well and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, bay leaf, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and harissa. Season and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30-35 minutes or  until the liquid has reduced.

Mix the feta with the last tbsp of olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl.

Add the ground coriander and cavolo nero to the stew and cook for a couple of minutes. Put the stew into bowls and top with feta, some coriander leaves and fennel seeds, and some seasoning. Serve with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe by Romilly Newman for BBC Good Food)

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In Morocco they serve bread with every meal. If you want eat this Moroccan-style, put the dish in the middle of the table and use flat-breads to mop up the little meatballs and eggs. It’s really worthwhile seeking out hot paprika (the paprika available in supermarkets is the sweet version), but don’t be tempted to use smoked paprika as it has a much stronger flavour and will overpower the dish. You can use minced lamb instead of beef if you prefer. The tagine also works well without the eggs, but they do add an extra layer of flavour and texture.

Kefta Mkaouara – to serve 4

  • 500g minced beef
  • small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Mix the mince with the parsley, 1 tsp of the cumin and ½ tsp of the paprika, some black pepper and about 1 tsp salt. Wet your hands and make lots of tiny meatballs (about the size of cherry tomatoes).

Heat a couple of good glugs of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches. Remove them with a slotted spoon.

Add the onion to the pan with a little extra oil if necessary and cook gently until very soft (about 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, the rest of the cumin and paprika, 1tsp ground black pepper and the garlic. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes but be careful that it doesn’t reduce down too much and become thick. Season well.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and pour into a shallow ovenproof dish. Push the back of a ladle into the mixture to make 4 wells to crack the eggs into. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Serve with the coriander and some warm flatbreads.

Drink with: a fruity red. We had a glass of our favourite “everyday” wine of the moment which the the Selvapiana Chianti Rufina and it worked a treat.

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This is a much lighter version of a lamb tagine. We definitely prefer the full-fat version but this is super simple to make, tasty, and healthy – so if you’re watching your waste we highly recommend it.

Light lamb tagine – to serve 6

  • 700g lamb leg meat, trim off all the fat and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 dried apricots, chopped (make sure they’re the no-soak ones)
  • 1 preserved lemon, discard the pulp and chop the skin
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 125g couscous
  • chopped coriander to serve

Heat the oven to 170C. Put the lamb, onion, garlic, spices, apricots, lemon, honey, chickpeas  into a large ovenproof casserole with a lid.

Season, then add the tomatoes and 400ml water. Bring to the boil cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hours, or until the lamb is tender. Turn the oven up to 200C.

Add 150ml of boiling water to the couscous and leaf to stand for 2 minutes. Fork through to avoid any clumps and spoon over the lamb. Return to the oven and cook without the lid for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve with some chopped coriander.

Wine Suggestion: Mediterranean reds tend to complement spicy, sweet flavours. We had a really interesting Italian red from Etna called Tenuta delle Terre Nere, which was very elegant and not too heavy. We would suggest a lighter red such as a Carrignan/Granache blend which can be found on the Mediterranean rim such as France, Spain or Sardinia. If you can find one with a bit of age it should have mellowed out nicely.

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