Perhaps this is the most recognizable of all Moroccan tagines after the chicken with preserved lemons and olives. There is probably not a household in all of Morocco where at least one version of it doesn’t make a regular appearance for lunch or dinner. My family usually prepared it either with eggs or potatoes and even with peas and olives when the latter was in season and simply too fresh and affordable to be passed over. My mom calls this her “lazy tagine” that she makes when she needs a break from heavy cooking and wants something quicker.
Meatball and Egg Tagine Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
For the meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt, to taste
1 small red onion, grated
12 sprigs cilantro or parsley (preferably a mixture of both), finely chopped
For the sauce
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup hot water
Season the ground beef by adding the paprika, pepper, cumin, salt, onion, cilantro, and parsley. Mix well and form into small size balls, ½-inch diameter.
Combine the tomatoes with the garlic and olive oil in a medium skillet and season with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, dilute the tomato paste in the hot water and pour into the sauce.
Place the meatballs in the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until done, 15 to 20 minutes.
Crack the eggs onto the meatballs, cover with a lid and let cook until the eggs are hard, 5 minutes.
Plate the meatballs with the sauce. Top each serving with an egg.
Serve with a beautiful baguette or another crusty bread to dip in the sauce.