Meatball Tagine With Herbs and Lemon

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“This delightful recipe comes from "Cooking Moroccan" by Tess Mallos. The meatballs do not need to be browned, which simplifies the prep. A tagine is an clay vessel, however, you do not need one to prepare this dish.”
1hr 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare the meatballs: put the onion and parsley in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Tear the bread into pieces, add to the onion, along with the egg, and process briefly.
  3. Add the meat, cumin, paprika, pepper and 1 teaspoons salt and process to a thick paste, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.
  4. Alternative preparation: grate the onion, chop the parsley, crumb the bread, and add to the meat in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Knead until the mixture is paste like in consistency.
  5. With moistened hands, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on a tray. Cover and refrigerate until required.
  6. Prepare the sauce: heat the butter or oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook over low heat until softened and golden.
  7. Add the paprika, turmeric, cumin and chili or cayenne pepper, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  8. Add the chicken stock and cilantro and bring to a boil.
  9. Add the meatballs to the pan, shaking so that they settle into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  10. Add most of the parsley and the lemon juice and season, if necessary. Return to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  11. If using preserved lemon, add now.
  12. Transfer to a tagine or bowl, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.
  13. Note 1: author suggests serving with crusty bread. I also suggest rice or couscous.
  14. Note 2: I substituted a yellow curry powder for the turmeric, as turmeric is a principal ingredient in curry powder.
  15. Note 3: I sometimes need to add a little additional stock for the sauce, depending on the pot I use.

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