Tagine (in Arabic “ نجاط ”) is historically a cooking pot originating from North African “Berbers” and the dish is named after the pot it is cooked in, which is a unique clay earthen pot that has a wide, circular shallow bottom while the lid of the Tagine is shaped into a rounded cone, allowing food to be heaped into a peak, for cooking.

Tagine is a Moroccan signature dish that was traditionally cooked by placing the Tagine over coals. Now it is popularly used in North African cuisines like Algerian and Tunisian.

Now the name Tagine also refers to the slow-cooked savoury stew cooked in the Tagine which may vary from meat to chicken or fish along with fruits or vegetables, that is combined with a variety of spices such as saffron, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon or cumin.

This Dish

Lamb chucks coated in a flavorful spice mix and slow-cooked in its juices until the meat is tender, directly served in a Tagine Pot with chopped herbs sprinkled on top.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
For the lamb
Lamb shoulder (trimmed, chunks) 1 kg
Cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp
Ground black pepper 2 tsp
Paprika 1½ tbsp
Ground ginger 1½ tbsp
Turmeric 1 tbsp
Ground cinnamon

(half the amount of spice mix is used for the lamb and the other half for the gravy)

2 tsp
For the gravy
Onions (grated) 2 large
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Garlic (crushed) 3 cloves
Tomato juice (puree) 570 ml
Canned peeled tomatoes (chopped) 2 cans
Apricots (dried, cut in half) 1/2 cup
Sultanas/ raisins 3 tbsp
Flaked almonds 3/4 cup
Saffron (soaked in hot water) 1 tsp
Lamb stock 3 cups
Honey 1 tbsp
Coriander (chopped) 2 tbsp
Parsley (chopped) 2 tbsp
Salt As required


Method of Preparation: 

  1. In a bowl add salt, cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and mix to combine.
  2. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss it with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
  4. In a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive Add grated onion and the other half of the spice mix, lower heat and cook for 10 minutes until onions are soft. To this, add crushed garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides, then add the browned meat to the saucepan.
  6. De-glaze the sauté pan with ¼ pint of tomato juice and add these juices to the saucepan.
  7. Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, raisins, sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole.
  8. Bring to the boil, cover with a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.
  9. Place the lamb in a Tagine or large serving dish, sprinkle the chopped herbs over it and serve.


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