Kefta Mkaouara - Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine

Kefta Mkaouara or Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine this is a Rick Stein recipe and it is delicious. Make this once and I guarantee you'll want to make it again.

Kefta Mkaouara (Mkawra) is a Moroccan dish and is traditionally made in a tagine. Small beef or lamb meatballs are simmered in a spiced tomato sauce, then eggs are added in the last few minutes of cooking.

Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine

Even though I've made this time and time again, we still love it. Of course, you don't have to have a Tagine to make this, I didn't use mine as it's a bit on the big side, so I just used a shallow ovenproof baking dish.

Although this Mediterranean Escapes cookbook has been out a good while now, in my opinion, it's one of the best books I own.

Top Tip!

Always use good quality tinned tomatoes, I always use the brand Cirio, they seriously are the best. If you use cheap one the juice will be watery. When you open a tin of Cirio you'll notice the juice is a gorgeous colour and very thick in its consistency. 

If you're in the UK Cirio tomatoes are available in most supermarkets., Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, although for some reason I've never see n them in ASDA. Tesco and Waitrose often have them at half price, so £1.75 at the time of writing for a pack of four. 

For the kefta:
Rick Stein uses beef but they can be made from ground lamb or a combination of lamb and beef.

If you're looking at this recipe and are thinking, this recipe is all very well and dandy, but I just don't have the time to make meatballs! I've got it covered, check out my Cheats Kefta Mkaouara recipe.

Rick Stein,Kefta Mkaouara,soicy,egg,meatball,tagine,recipe
Rick Stein,Tagaie,Main,
Yield: 4
Kefta Mkaouara

Kefta Mkaouara

Of course, you don't have to have a Tagine to make this, I didn't use mine as it's a bit on the big side, so I just used a shallow ovenproof baking dish.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 very fresh eggs - free range of course
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a small handful fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped, to garnish
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaved parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g cans of  good quality  chopped tomatoes including the juice
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • *salt to taste, but go careful you might not need any


How to cook Kefta Mkaouara

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
  2. Meatballs:
  3. Put the minced beef, parsley, cumin, paprika, one teaspoon salt (not more) and some freshly ground black pepper into a bowl and mix together well using your hands.
  4. Dampen your hands and form the mixture into about 28 2.5cm/1in balls.
  5. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a shallow Tagine or frying pan and brown the meatballs briefly on all sides. Once done, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set to one side.
  6. Sauce:
  7. Add the onion to the Tagine or pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook gently for ten minutes until very soft and just beginning to brown.
  8. *Personally I add the garlic in with the onions, as long as you don't burn it, it'll be fine.
  9. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until well concentrated in flavour but not too thick. 
  10. Taste the sauce and season with salt if you think it really needs it and nows the time to add more paprika cumin.
  11. Return the meatballs to the sauce and mix together.
  12. Transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish if you have prepared the sauce in a frying pan, otherwise, leave the mixture in the Tagine and leave the top off of it.
  13. Make four slight dips in the mixture and break an egg into each one. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the eggs are just set.
  14. Scatter with the chopped coriander and serve with warm flatbread.
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