Tagine Kefta

Tagine Kefta is a favorite Moroccan entrée, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The word “tagine” refers not only to the food, but the cooking vessel in which the food is cooked. It is a traditional clay cooking vessel with a conical lid, typically cooked over hot coals. Any food, usually a slow-cooked, savory stew, cooked inside a tagine is generically referred to as “tagine”. The earliest documentation of cooking in a tagine dates back to the 9th century in Arabia. Kefta refers to a specific type of dish. Tagine Kefta is traditionally cooked inside of a tagine and consists of meatballs, made from either beef or lamb, a savory tomato sauce, and cracked eggs over the top.

For this recipe, you can use a tagine or a large, deep, skillet – whatever you have on hand. Serve the stew and meatballs on top of couscous or with crusty bread.

Servings: 4-6



1 pound ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 small green pepper, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons paprika

1.5 teaspoons cumin

1.5 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 bay leaf

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


1 jalapeno (or other hot pepper), thinly sliced (optional)

4 eggs

1/4 cup water

Cooked couscous or crusty bread


First, make your meatballs. Add all meatball ingredients to a large bowl and use your hands to knead everything together. Shape the meatballs into very small balls, about the size of cherry tomatoes. Arrange on a plate, cover, and set aside in the fridge.

Now it is time to make the sauce. If you do not have a tagine, you can use a large, deep skillet. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in the tagine or skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Then, reduce and allow to gently simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, arrange the meatballs over the top of the sauce. Over the meatballs, add the finely sliced jalapenos (if using), along with approximately 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook over a low temperature for 35-40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. If the sauce starts to burn to the tagine or skillet at any point, just add a splash more water.

Lastly, it’s time to add the eggs. Crack the eggs, careful not to break the yolks. Cover and cook for 8-10 more minutes. The egg whites should be solid and the yolks should be partially set.

Garnish with additional cilantro and serve immediately. This is great over couscous or served with crusty bread!



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