Lamb Kifta Tagine with Eggs

9:00 pm on 19 June 2004

Ingredients Meatballs

  • 500g lamb, finely minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for frying

Ingredients Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cans tomatoes (400g), drained and chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 500ml water
  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs

Method

To make the meatballs, combine the ingredients and, using wet hands, form the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Heat the oil and brown the meatballs all over. Drain well on paper towels.

For the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole dish and lightly saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water, fresh herbs and eggs, and stir well. Then stir in the water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until it has reduced to a very thick gravy.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue cooking for a further 8 minutes. Carefully break the whole eggs into the sauce, cover with a lid and cook until the eggs are just set – about 5 minutes. Serve at once, liberally garnished with the fresh herbs and with plenty of Arab bread at the side to mop up the runny egg yolks. Alternatively, accompany with a dish of plain buttered couscous and a dollop of thick natural yoghurt.

For a more piquant dish, add a finely chopped chilli while sautéing the onion and garlic.

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