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Kefta Tagine

kefta tagine

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Kefta Tagine
11th May, 2018

Kefta Tagine is a wonderful dish from Morocco consisting of small meatballs in a richly spiced and herbed tomato sauce, finished with eggs poached in the dish. If you have a tagine, use it but this recipe has been converted to be cooked in a pan on the hob

There are two versions of the sauce here. One is traditional whilst the other is a cheat


  • For the Sauce
  • 1.6 kg tomatoes OR 500mls Passata (Passata cheat below...)
  • 1 Onion, grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 80mls cup olive oil
  • 2 red chilli peppers, finely chopped
  • For the Meatballs
  • 800g ground beef and lamb (400g of each)
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp coriander, chopped
  • Finishing touches:
  • 4 eggs


    Make the Real Sauce

    Bring a pan of water to the boil and take off the heat. Add in the whole tomatoes and leave for five minutes. Refresh in cold water to cool them down and peel them. Once peeled, cut in half, de-seed and grate them into a clean saucepan

    Peel the onion and grate this into the saucepan with the tomatoes. Then add in the spices, herbs, oil and chilli pepper and bring the sauce mixture to the boil before bring back to simmer and let it cook for about 20 minutes

    Cheaters Sauce

    Seeing that Passata has already been cooked and blended with tomatoes and onion all you have to do is add the spices, fresh herbs, oil and chilli pepper. Add the oil to the pan, gently fry off the chilli pepper. Warm through the spices, add the passata and then the fresh herbs and simmer for 20 minutes... cheating can be really easy

    Make the Kefta Meatballs

    With the sauce simmering away, in a large bowl you'll need to add the ground beef and lamb, a grated onion, green pepper and the rest of the spices and herbs. Bring it all together with your hands and cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes

    When ready to cook, get the meatball mix from the fridge and make small meatballs with your hands. You're looking to get meatballs about an inch in diameter; they are small mouthfuls

    In the pan with the simmering sauce, pop in the meatballs as well as 50 mls of water and place a lid on the pan. Leave it on the hob for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick

    The final touch is to carefully crack the eggs into the pan with the meatballs and let this cook for a further few minutes until the eggs are essentially poached in the sauce

    Serve straight away with some crusty bread to mop up the sauce and meatballs