Moroccan spicy kefta tagine with lemonKefta tagines don’t require long cooking times as generally the sauce is made first and the meatballs are poached in it. This popular recipe is light and lemony and delicious served with Plain, Buttery Couscous tossed with chilli and herbs and a leafy salad.
INGREDIENTSFor the kefta:
- 450 g finely minced beef or lamb
- 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
- leaves from a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1–2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2–3 garlic cloves, halved and crushed
- a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- leaves from a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- leaves from a small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, pips removed
- Plain, Buttery Couscous, tossed with finely chopped red chilli and fresh green herbs (optional)
To make the kefta, pound the minced meat with your knuckles in a bowl. Using your hands, lift the lump of minced meat and slap it back down into the bowl. Add the onion, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cayenne, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients and knead well, pounding the mixture for a few minutes. Take pieces of the mixture and shape them into little walnut-sized balls, so that you end up with about 16 kefta. (These can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.)
Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or heavy-based casserole. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilli and sauté until they begin to brown. Add the turmeric and half the coriander and mint, and pour in 300 ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Carefully place the kefta in the liquid, cover and poach for about 15 minutes, rolling them in the liquid from time to time so they are cooked well on all sides. Pour over the lemon juice, season the liquid with salt and tuck the lemon segments around the kefta. Poach for a further 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining coriander and mint and serve with Plain, Buttery Couscous tossed with chilli and herbs and a leafy salad, if liked.