Kefta Tagine (Lamb Meatball, Olive, and Egg Tagine)

  • Serves

    serves 8



  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 12 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 12 tbsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 12 tsp. ground ginger
  • 12 tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 28 oz. canned whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained, crushed by hand
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 cup unpitted kalamata olives
  • 14 cup finely chopped parsley


Step 1

Place lamb, 1 tbsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. paprika, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and mix until evenly combined. Form mixture into 12 balls, about 1 oz. each, and place on a plate; chill kefta until ready to use.

Step 2

Heat butter and oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining cumin and paprika, chile flakes, ginger, saffron, and bay leaf, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until broken down and sauce is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add kefta, and cook, covered, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Crack eggs over the top, and arrange olives around eggs; cover, and continue cooking until whites are cooked and yolks are slightly runny, about 8 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

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