Moroccan meatball magic

The kids have been asking for meatballs. And I have had in the back of my mind for a while a recipe for a meatball tagine in a rich and tomato-y sauce. So I pulled out the recipe books and had a look.

I had two somewhat different recipes, one in the Australian Women’s Weekly Moroccan cook book and the other in Moroccan Modern by Hassan M’souli. Both meatballs in tomato sauce, both with eggs poached in the sauce just before serving. In the end, I went with the AWW recipe, as it was a bit simpler.

But if I did it again, I would make meatballs more like the ones in the Moroccan Modern recipe as the ones I made were a little bit dry. The sauce was nice though, and I love the soft oozy egg poached in the sauce at the end. I served it with a simple rice pilaf, but it would go just as well with couscous or even a loaf of turkish bread or ciabatta to mop up the eggy sauce.

Meatball tagine with eggs

Adapted from Moroccan, by The Australian Women’s Weekly

Serves 4

500g mince beef
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbs coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tins diced tomatoes in their juices
pinch of saffron
4 eggs
fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Combine mince with half of the garlic, coriander, ground cinnamon, ground coriander and half of the ground cumin. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.

Brown the meatballs in 1 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove to a plate and set aside while preparing the sauce.

Saute the onions in the remaining olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and saute briefly, then add the tomatoes, saffron and remaining cumin and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Return meatballs to the saucepan and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until cooked through, and sauce thickens slightly. Season to taste.

Break eggs into pan and cover. Simmer until eggs are barely set. Sprinkle with corander leaves and serve.


1. You can cook this in a tagine or a deep frypan with a lid.

2. Add 1/4 tsp chili powder to both the meatballs and the sauce if desired.

3. I needed to add about half a cup of water to the sauce as it thickened up a bit more than I wanted it to, before the meatballs were cooked through.

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