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Moroccan Tagine recipe

Moroccan Tagine recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Lamb
  • Lamb tagine

Tagines are almost invariably made with mutton. Using lamb cuts down the cooking time, but if you can find good hogget (older than lamb, younger than mutton) that will do very well.

40 people made this

IngredientsServes: 5

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 1kg lamb meat, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pears - peeled, cored and cut into 4cm chunks
  • 80g sultanas
  • 70g flaked almonds

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:2hr ›Ready in:2hr15min

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or casserole over medium heat. Fry the onion in the oil until soft. Add the lamb to the pan, and fry until just browned on the outside. Season with cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the lamb. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is tender and the mixture is stew-like. Uncover after an hour if there appears to be too much liquid.
  2. Add the pears, sultanas and almonds to the stew, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the pears are soft. Serve with rice.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(36)

Reviews in English (28)

This dish is delicious! I served this for a large family gathering and it was applauded!-02 Jan 2011


    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
    • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
    • 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
    • 4 6-ounce white fish fillets (such as halibut or orange roughy)
    • 1 pound carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
    • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, thinly sliced
    • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
    • 24 brine-cured olives (such as Kalamata)
    • Additional Chopped fresh Italian parsley
    1. Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Add fish and turn to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange carrot slices over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Layer half of tomatoes, half of onion and half of lemon over. Season with half of salt and pepper.
    3. Drain marinade from fish reserve marinade. Arrange fish atop lemon slices. Top fish with remaining tomato, onion and lemon slices. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Top decoratively with red pepper strips and olives. Pour reserved marinade over. Cover dish with foil. Bake 40 minutes.
    4. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. and bake until fish flakes easily and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Garnish with additionally parsley.

    01. Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Caramelized Fruits

    This tagine is honestly a masterpiece! It’s THE recipe that is made in every Moroccan celebration and on every special occasion. It’s made with either lamb meat or beef meat and caramelized figs, dates, and/or dried prunes. The best results are obtained when cooking in a clay tagine pot, as it helps develop the flavors beautifully. If you have a tagine pot, here is where you can find the authentic O how delicious Moroccan lamb tagine recipe.


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    The tips below are designed to give you an introduction to cooking with a tagine pot. If you look after your earthenware pot well, it will last for decades.

    When cooking with a conical earthenware pot, the order in which you add your ingredients isn't too important. It's such a convenient method of cooking because the unique lid shape keeps all the ingredients moist, and everything cooks together. It's the ultimate item of kitchenware for the one-pot meal.

    If you're using your cast iron or stoneware pot on the stovetop, which is the most common method of cooking for most recipes, be careful not to set the heat too high, as you may damage the pot (and also potentially burn your delicious Moroccan Chicken!) The best way to avoid any damage is to use some form of diffuser, usually a thin metal plate, between the pot and the burner for protection.

    The traditional pot also works well in the oven, but again, don't set it to an extremely high temperature. If you have an unfinished cast iron or stoneware pot, you can also use it over a grill or a campfire, but keep the flame level low and cook for a little longer then you would on the stove.

    Although cast iron pots are incredibly sturdy, they may become brittle when exposed to very sudden changes in temperature. After cooking, you should always allow your traditional pot to cool naturally on the stove, or on a heat resistant mat.

    Don't place it on a cold counter or run cold water over it as you risk cracks developing. Similarly, don't put a cold tagine in a hot oven. Place it in the oven prior to switching it on, and let it come to cooking temperature gradually before adding your ingredients.

    Other than Moroccan Chicken tagine, there are many other recipes to try. Other popular recipes from the region include Fish Chermoula, Harira soup and Tabbouleh.

    For more exotic dishes around the world, visit our recipes section. Try making the savoury dim sum staple, Turnip Cake next.


    MOROCCAN LAMB TAGINE WITH APRICOTS

    *This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy statement for details.

    Back in January, we took a trip to Baha Mar to celebrate my 50th Birthday! We had a fabulous time and enjoyed some amazing food. One of my favorite meals from that trip was a Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Apricots we were served at Cleo. Since then, I have been yearning to try and recreate this dish at home. First things first, I found this handcrafted vessel from Amazon. Not only can I cook in it, but I display this beautiful piece on my dining room table when not in use.

    Are you on TikTok? If so, check out this short video I made creating this dish by clicking here. Give me a follow, please!

    I am not going to lie, I was super intimated to even attempt making this dish. I did some research and found that this particular tagine should not be placed in the oven. Given that, I would need a heat diffuser, as well. Additionally, some clay pots need to either be seasoned, and/or soaked. Mine came seasoned, but I did have to immerse the entire pot in water for about two hours prior to the first use.

    FLAVOR PROFILE FOR MOROCCAN LAMB TAGINE WITH APRICOTS

    Next, I thought about the flavors and ingredients. See, I grew up on lamb and there was no doubt it would be the star of the show. I decided on lamb shoulder, as the leg can be a bit more “gamey.” Lamb chops or shanks would also work very well. Feel free to experiment with other proteins. Chicken, pork or beef would be great substitutes.

    Sweet, savory and spicy is my jam. So, this dish was a perfect combination of the three. If you are not into that much spice, cut down the amount of chiles in the chermoula.

    Lastly, this dish calls for patience. Slow cooking is the key to not only develop amazing flavor, but to ensure that each and every bite of lamb will be super tender, and juicy. Plan on about three hours from prep to plate! This dish will serve three to four people.

    PREPPING THE LAMB

    In order to obtain a perfect sear on the lamb, be sure to allow it to come to room temperature. I do this with most of my proteins (with the exception of chicken). Cut the lamb into bite-sized (1″ to 1 1/2″) cubes. Season generously with kosher salt and black pepper.

    Heat up the olive oil in a pan. In order to achieve the perfect crust on the lamb, sear in batches. As the lamb in searing, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl for the seasoning. Set aside for later use.

    Reserve lamb on a plate. Once all of the lamb has been seared and removed from the pan, turn up the heat and add in the chicken stock. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Once released, whisk in the seasoning mixture. Turn off the heat and reserve the liquid.

    CHERMOULA

    In my opinion, the chermoula is what sends this dish over the top. Chermoula is used quite often in North African cuisine as a sauce or marinade. As mentioned earlier, feel free to adjust the heat level to your liking. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients for the chermoula, except for the olive oil. Pulse a few times to break up. Slowly, drizzle in enough olive oil to form a sauce (see photo below). Reserve.

    BUILDING THE LAMB TAGINE

    Once all of the ingredients have been prepped, it’s now time to start building the tagine. Be sure to read the directions that accompany your pot. Some are oven-safe, at certain temperatures. Some, like mine, can only be used on the stovetop with a heat diffuser. You most definitely want to avoid cracking or breaking the pot during the cooking process.

    As an alternative to cooking in a clay pot, you can use either an enameled cast iron pot, or slow cooker. However, in my opinion, this entire recipe is so fun because of the cooking vessel and technique.

    Set the heat diffuser on the stove. Turn heat to medium and place the bottom of the clay pot on top of the diffuser. You will be cooking at medium heat for the duration.

    Toss in the diced celery, carrots and shallots. In a single layer, place the sliced potatoes on top of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Top the potatoes with the chopped tomatoes.

    Sprinkle on the apricot slices. Add in the reserved seared lamb, along with any juices. Pour in the reserved stock mixture. Top the lamb with half of the chermoula. Cover with lid. Allow to cook for at least two to two and a half hours, or until the lamb is fork tender. Taste on occasion for salt.

    While the Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Apricots is slowly cooking, prepare the rice. I’m going to admit, I was a bit lazy about making the rice from scratch. Honestly, I found the most amazing alternative. This basmati rice from VeeTee is the best. Unlike a number of other brands of packaged rice, this one never tastes like the packaging, and can be microwaved in two minutes. If you have never tried, you must!

    TO SERVE THE MOROCCAN LAMB TAGINE WITH APRICOTS

    Once the lamb is super tender, you are almost ready to indulge! Sprinkle with the slivered almonds (feel free to toast them for an added level of flavor). Top the entire dish with the remaining chermoula. Serve up with the prepared rice. Some of you may wonder why potatoes AND rice. Believe me. It just works.

    No need to transfer to a serving dish. ENJOY this amazing creation right out of this gorgeous, handcrafted clay pot. I honestly, cannot wait to make this dish, again and again!

    Love lamb as much as I do? Check out these recipes!

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    MOROCCAN HOT MINT TEA “ATAY”

    />Moroccan mint tea is served before and after meals. It is both sweet and refreshing. In traditional Moroccan culture, it is usually prepared by the elder men of the family. There is no one way to make mint tea as it is very subjective. The best tea maker of the family is guaranteed to always be invited and honored. The following recipe is based on my late grandfather’s way of preparing tea.

    INGREDIENTS
    – 4 to 5 cups of water
    – 1 x large bunch of fresh Spearmint (peppermint will not do)
    – 1 tbsp of green tea (Gun Powder Tea is preferred and you can find it in oriental/chinese stores)
    – 4 to 5 table spoons of sugar

    PREPARATION
    Set the water to a full boil. Place the green tea in the teapot. Add 1/4 cup of boiling water, let it sit for 1/2 minute and then pour it out. This allows the tea leaves to open completely.

    Add all of the rinsed mint inside the teapot, then add 4-5 tbsp of sugar (to taste). Top with boiling hot water and let it boil for 2 minutes. Take off stove top and let it sit for another minute.

    Pour 1 full glass of hot mint tea and pour it back into the teapot. Repeat this twice. This allows for the sugar to mix without breaking any mint leaves (breaking of mint leaves while mixing with a spoon makes tea a bit bitter).

    It is optional to add two drops of orange blossom water as it is added only during ceremonial gatherings.

    Although it is not necessary, if seeking the full authentic experience, you can find find Moroccan tea pots and beautiful colorful Moroccan tea glasses at Berber Trading Company.


    Frequently Asked Questions.

    I hate fish, what can I use instead?

    Unfortunately, you can’t substitute fish in a fish tagine and still end up having fish tagine, haha! However, this dish is so yummy, and with the chickpeas, it can make a pretty tasty vegan tagine.

    I don’t have a tagine, how can I make this?

    You don’t have to have a tagine to make this dish. You can use an 8 qt dutch oven, a braiser or a large sauté pan. The most important thing to keep in mind is to have a large flat bottom. If you use a 6 qt pot, you’ll end up with too much liquid and, to be honest, a complete mess in a pot.

    What can I use instead of cilantro?

    Parsley is a great swap for cilantro. I know this herb has an awful taste for some people, but if it doesn’t taste like soap to you, it’s a must-have in the recipe.

    What is harissa?

    Harissa is a North African condiment made from cayenne peppers, olive oil, garlic and spices. Different brands have different levels of heat. I love the traditional harissa from Tunisia or Libya, it is the hottest version.

    If you have harissa from these countries, you may want to reduce the amount of harissa in this recipe for the sake of your tongue. Check the ingredients label it will give you an idea of how hot it’s going to be. Mild harissa will often have a mix of bell peppers in the ingredients.


    Moroccan Lamb Tagine

    Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a very large (12- to 13-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Pat the lamb shanks dry with paper towels. In batches, add the lamb shanks to the pot and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned. Transfer to a plate and brown the remaining shanks, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Transfer all the shanks to the plate and set aside.

    Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more oil, if necessary. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for just 30 seconds. Add the chili powder, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon and cook for one minute. Stir in the tomatoes and their liquid, the chicken stock, brown sugar, lime, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the potatoes, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Place the lamb shanks in the pot, spooning some of the sauce and vegetables over the shanks. (They will not be completely submerged.) Cover the pot and bake for 3 hours, until the lamb shanks are very tender. Serve hot with steamed couscous.

    Steamed Couscous (Serves 6)

    • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
    • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
    • 3 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cups couscous (12 ounces)

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the chicken stock, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and bring to a full boil. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover, and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

    Copyright 2014, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved


    Related Video

    I love this dish! I like also making moroccan meatballs spiced in tomato sauce and melted gouda. Here is my recipe: http://bit.ly/1NfcVTT

    I honestly thought this was amazing. Made this for dinner a couple of weeks ago and DH and I were both very sad when we had finished the last bit of leftovers. I accidentally misread the recipe and added the cilantro to the meatballs (no harm done) and followed the advice of previous reviewers who advised to double the spices. Brilliant idea. I forgot to add the spinach (don't think there was any harm done with that) and served this with pearl couscous with golden raisins and toasted almonds. The sauce seemed a little thin at first but the next day it thickened up beautifully and the flavors were right on the money. Even without the saffron (too rich for my blood) this was positively one of the best dishes I think I've ever made and will be making this again sometime in the not-so-distant future.

    sauce is WAY too thin! Halve the stock and double the canned tomatoes. Also watch the oven time, mine cooked in 25 minutes and i took the dish out of the oven and just stirred the spinach through, it definitely didn't need the 40 minutes it suggested and doesn't need the 5 minutes for the spinach.

    Very good, made to the recipe, with the couscous, and everybody at the party liked it some asked for the recipe

    Have made this tagine on different occasions for different kinds of people. They all loved it. I changed 2 things. I substituted beef meatballs for turkey meatballs. They stay very moist because of the way it is cooked. I do own a large tagine and I just leave it on low heat on the stove for about half an hour to simmer. No oven needed. Superb!!

    I made this with 1# ground beef and the spices as listed-- could make it more spicy as other reviewers recommended. Used two cans of ready cut tomatoes and 1 c beef broth -- browned the carrots with the onions -- think that made it more flavorful. Only used 2 cups of onions -- that was plenty. Easy to make ahead and put in oven. We had it with couscous and a spinach salad. Really good I would do this again in a heartbeat.

    My family loved this. Was a bit of work, but what dinner isn't when you want to cook a delicious meal? I don't mind a little more prep work when the whole meal goes in one pot and I can clean up while it's cooking! I put the carrots in with the onions and garlic and they made the sauce rich. Omitted the spinach, but it was still good.

    Excellent use of forgot-the-parmesan meatballs.

    This was delicious - with a few modifications. Based on other reviewers, I doubled the spices. Next time I will make the meatballs smaller, with a few more breadcrumbs in them to make them more tender. I'll also only use 1 lb of meat - as we wanted more of the sauce. 6 servings? More like 8-10 for us! Maybe we just don't eat as much meat as other people. My 7 yr old thought it was too spicy - but she won't get it next time. :-)

    Very good. Added paprika and fennel seeds to the stew.

    I used 1 pound of ground beef but kept the same amount of spices and the meatballs were spiced enough. I also agree there was too much liquid. I would use half the amount of tomatoes.

    Made this as written. more or less. No panko, so I used regular breadcrumbs, and added a yellow pepper into the stew, as well as throwing in a handful of chopped apricots because I didnt have raisins. I kept the spices as written. Made the meatballs the night before and then threw everything together into a slow cooker in the morning, set on low, and let it simmer for 8 or 9 hours. Perrrfect!

    At first this looked disappointingly more like a soup than a stew, but somehow it thickened up as it sat awhile and especially the next day when reheated. Like it spicier? Add more spices. I like to fry one of the meatballs as a test to see if it needs something more, salt, definitely. Making a day ahead so you can skim the fat is a good idea. I made this exactly as the recipe stated and it was delicious. It makes a lot and is easily prepared. Over couscous or Basmati rice, a definite winner!

    My husband and I thought the spice mix was very tasty, but will increase the amounts the next time we make this. Also, cut down the amount of broth as it's not necessary when cooking in a tagine.

    Wow, this was my first attempt at making anything like this. The flavors are so new, I can't wait to make it again. Since the spices and process are so new to me, I followed the recipe to the letter. Even though it was a very time consuming recipe, I will definitely make it again.

    This is a recipe I make quite often, but have made a few modifications. no onions in the meatballs, and I use 1/2 ground kangaroo meat (or 1/2 ground bison when I am in Canada) and 1/2 ground lamb. I also substitute the spices listed with a Ras Al Hanout blend and a little bit of Zaɺtar (both are well worth searching out at your local Middle-Eastern/Moroccan store). I do brown the meatballs first under the grill before adding to the sauce. I also do not use any broth in the sauce, just lots & lots of canned tomatoes. Also, I love to chop up a half preserved lemon and use it as garnish (my husband doesn't care for this though, as he says it tastes like Mr. Clean. I suppose it's an acquired taste!).

    I thought this would be fast, since you don't need to brown the meatballs, but there's still lots of prep work. This was hearty and flavorful served over plain couscous. I recommend adding a bit of salt in the stew. Oh and added sweet yellow and red peppers when cooking the onions since I had them.

    Absolutely yummy - even reheated for the next day.

    This was a great recipe. Flavorful and easy. Didn't add the spinach at the end - but it would have been good. The only thing I would do differently in the future is make it far enough in advance that I could put it in the fridge for a while to solidify the fat and meld the flavors. Thought about pan frying the meatballs in advance but I'm glad I didn't - so were so moist as is. Just would like to skim off the fat before serving. Served with plain couscous, steamed broccoli and stewed apples. Delicious. My 21 month old grandson ate 3 servings of the meatballs!!

    I cooked this in a crockpot overnight, and used twice the spices for the stew (crockpots dont work well for dried herb), and it was delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    I have made this twice now, and both times it was amazing. Tender meat balls, sweet sauciness. Can't go wrong.

    This was really good. I only had 1 pound of ground beef, so I added a 1/2 pound of gorund dark meat turkey. I also used a whole 28 oz can of whole tomatoes because I wanted a lot of sauce. It actually turned out really well. Next time I make it I'll use all beef because I'm sure that tastes better.

    To fry the meatballs prior to adding to the stew or not - given the divided opinions of the other readers, I did half and half. I found those not fried prior to be moister and more flavorful. Overall a very tasty recipe enjoyed by the whole family even my very picky youngest son

    This is a good recipe,but it needs more salt in both the meatballs and the stew.

    Huge hit! Made some tweaks based on what I had - tomato paste and roasted red peppers instead of canned tomatoes, figs instead of raisins, used ras al hanout as the spice blend in the stew (because I love Moroccan flavors), plain couscous, and it was all excellent. Very flexible recipe, so feel free to experiment! (Definitely recommend browning the meatballs first, and using the same pan/oil for the stew. Adds flavor all around.)