Kefta Tagine with Herbs and Lemon

2011 Jul/Aug

Serve with couscous and Greek yogurt. This dish is even better the next day.



  • 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 T. Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 slices day-old bread, crust removed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • salt to taste


  • 1 t. butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 t. Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 t. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1 red, hot chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2 T. cilantro
  • 2 T. flat leaf parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


Put the onion and parsley in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Tear the bread into pieces and add to the bowl with the egg, process briefly. Place in a mixing bowl and add the meat, cumin, paprika, pepper and salt. Gently mix together with your hands until everything is combined. Dip your hands in cold water and form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 15 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the paprika, turmeric, cumin and chile and cook for one minute until fragrant. Add the stock and cilantro and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, shaking the pan so they settle into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add 1 T. parsley and the lemon juice and season to taste. Transfer to a tagine or serving dish and finish with the remaining parsley. Serves 4.