Kefta meatballs and tomato sauce tagine with jalapeño & herb yoghurt sauce

It’s back to school season and I couldn’t be happier about it! To celebrate, we’re making a traditional and comforting meal: “tagine dial kefta bil matecha” and we’re going to give it a little 2021 update with some more ingredients such as pickled onions and a jalapeño yoghurt sauce. These extra ingredients/toppings mean a little bit more work, but they also make the tagine even more irresistible!

Kefta meatballs and tomato sauce tagine with jalapeño & herb yoghurt sauce
KEFTA AND TOMATO TAGINE.jpg

It’s back to school season and I couldn’t be happier about it! To celebrate, we’re making a traditional and comforting meal: “tagine dial kefta bil matecha” and we’re going to give it a little 2021 update with some more ingredients such as pickled onions and a jalapeño yoghurt sauce. These extra ingredients/toppings mean a little bit more work, but they also make the tagine even more irresistible! 

Tagine dial kefta bil matecha translates to “kefta with tomato (sauce) tagine”. This recipe is very similar to a shakshuka, minus the eggs. Actually, very often Moroccans like to add eggs at the very end of this recipe so feel free to do so if you’d like! If you decide to also serve it with eggs, halve the quantity of the kefta meatballs and use 4 eggs. To make it vegetarian, just omit the kefta from the recipe add poach the eggs in the sauce once the sauce is ready.

You can serve it for brunch, lunch or dinner! It’s also a fun recipe to make, I love to get my daughters involved and let them make the meatballs. Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget to put lots of bread on the side to mop all the sauce! 

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Kefta meatballs and tomato sauce tagine with jalapeño & herb yoghurt sauce

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

Tomato tagine

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped 

  • 1 can peeled tomatoes (400gr/14 oz.) 

  • 10g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 

  • 10g coriander, finely chopped  

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper  

Lightly pickled onions 

  • 2 spring onions (stalks removed) or shallots, finely sliced 

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt 

Kefta meatballs

  • 400g minced beef (lamb or a mix of lamb and beef also works), 10 – 15% fat

  • 1 medium onion (100g), grated

  • 10g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 

  • 10g coriander, finely chopped  

  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Pinch cayenne pepper  

Jalapeño & herb yoghurt sauce

  • 100g Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 15g flat leaf parsley

  • 15g coriander

  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded 

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • Generous pinch sugar 

METHOD

 • Place a large frying pan (or a large saucepan) over a high heat and stir in the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer gently, stirring every now and then, for about 45 minutes until the mixture becomes a thick sauce. If it looks like the sauce is too dry at any point during the cooking process, add a couple of tablespoons of water.

While the tomato sauce is simmering you can prepare the lightly pickled spring onions, kefta meatball, yoghurt sauce. Alternatively, you can also make them in advance and keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

• Place all the lightly pickled spring onions in a small mixing bowl and use a spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.  

• Place all the kefta ingredients in a large bowl, then use your hands or a large spoon to mix them together. Shape the kefta mixture into meatballs 2.5cm in diameter (about a large tablespoon of kefta), then cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until ready to use. 

• Place the jalapeño & herb yoghurt sauce in a blender or food processor and process for a few seconds until the ingredients are smooth. Transfer the sauce in a container and place in the fridge.  

• Once the sauce is ready, add in the meatballs, re-cover the pan again and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes or until they’ve turned brown and are cooked through. 

• To serve drizzle the yoghurt sauce all over the tagine and garnish with pickled onions all over. Serve immediately and lots of bread on the side.