Keftas are basically Moroccan meatballs and this is my favourite tagine, a thick tomato sauce with meatballs and eggs nestled within. The first place I ate it was in a roadside restaurant in Ouarzazate on the way to Merzouga. It was so good we stopped at the same place on the return journey. This is my attempt at recreating that I think is pretty good. Serves 3-4.
500g of minced beef
1 onion – finely grated
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
3 tsps. of sweet paprika
3 tsps. of ground cumin
3 tsps. of cinnamon
3 tsps. of harissa paste
2 tbsps. of parsley – finely chopped
2 tbsps. of coriander – finely chopped
2 tbsps. of olive oil
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Using a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic together with a pinch of salt making a paste. Finely grate the onion and chop the herbs. Into a large bowl, add the grated onion and half the crushed garlic, chopped herbs and spices. Set the remaining garlic, herbs and spices aside for the sauce later. Add the minced beef to the bowl and using your hands, mix well together for a few minutes. Again using your hands, shape the meat mixture into 2-3cm sized balls and set aside. In a shallow pan or frying pan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and gently fry the meatballs for 2 minutes turning when brown. Remove the browned meatballs from the pan and set aside. In the same pan add the remaining olive oil and fry the garlic for 2 minutes on a medium heat. Add the tinned tomatoes and the remaining herbs and spices. Simmer for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat. Add in the meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure the sauce doesn’t stick to the pan. Remove the cover when done and make spaces among the sauce and add the eggs. Cover again and cook until eggs are barely set, which should take about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with couscous or crusty bread.