Lamb tagine with prunes, apricots and honey

Moroccan lamb tagine with prunes, apricots and honey

A classic lamb tagine, sweetened with honey and fruit, is the perfect introduction to the tastes of Morocco. Traditionally, this aromatic dish is served with bread to mop up the syrupy sauce. To balance the sweetness, you could also serve a crunchy salad of finely shredded carrot, onions, and cabbage or peppers, spiked with chilli.


  • 1–2 tablespoons ghee, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus a knob of butter 
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds 
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped 
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 
  • a pinch of saffron threads 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1–2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed 
  • 500 g boned lamb, from the shoulder, leg or shanks, trimmed and cubed 
  • 12 dried, stoned prunes, soaked for 1 hour and drained 
  • 6 dried, stoned apricots, soaked for 1 hour and drained 
  • 3–4 strips orange zest 
  • 1–2 tablespoons dark, runny honey 
  • leaves from a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped 
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • crusty bread, to serve
Serves 4–6


  1. Heat the ghee in a tagine or heavy-based casserole, stir in the almonds and cook until they turn golden. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until they begin to colour. Stir in the ginger, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Toss in the lamb, making sure it is coated in the onion and spices, and sauté for 1–2 minutes. 
  2. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the tagine or casserole and simmer for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender. Add the prunes, apricots and orange zest, cover the tagine again, and simmer for a further 15–20 minutes. Stir in the honey, season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, as you want the sauce to be syrupy and slightly caramelized, but not too dry – add a little more water if necessary. 
  3. Stir in some of the coriander and reserve the rest to sprinkle over the top of the dish. Serve immediately with crusty bread.