A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, and world cuisine.

Kefta Mkaouara - Rick Stein Recipe

Kefta Mkaouara or Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine; based on a recipe by Rick Stein is truly something delicious.

Make this once and I guarantee you'll want to make it again, it's a great dish to serve with friends.

Kefta Mkaouara Rick Stein

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Moroccan Meatball Tagine

Please note this video is just a basic meatball recipe and doesn't have the lovely spices in it that is needed for this recipe.

What is Kefta Mkaouara?

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.

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 lidded baking dish.

Although Rick Stein's book Mediterranean Escapes 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 your sauce 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. 

Can of Cirio tomatoes

If you're in the UK Cirio tomatoes are available in most supermarkets. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Waitrose, although for some reason I've never seen 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.


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 speedy Cheats Kefta Mkaouara recipe. It cuts the time in half!

Can you freeze Kefta Mkaouara?

Yes, you can, but you must be sure it has completely defrosted and without the eggs!

Once defrosted, transfer to a suitable shallow baking dish and heat the dish through until piping hot.

Then add the eggs as shown in the recipe, and return to the oven so they can cook.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

Moroccan Meatball Tagine Recipe

Yield: 4
Author: Jan Bennett
Kefta Mkaouara - Spicy Egg and Meatball Tagine

Kefta Mkaouara - Spicy Egg and Meatball Tagine

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. Instead, I used a shallow ovenproof baking dish.
Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 1 Hour


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, I really don't think you'll need any
Other ingredients
  • 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


Make the Meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
  2. 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.
  3. Dampen your hands and form the mixture into about 28 2.5cm/1in balls.
  4. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a shallow Tagine or frying pan and brown the meatballs briefly on all sides.
  5. Once done, remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set aside.
Make the Sauce
  1. 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.
  2. Add the garlic in with the onions, as long as you don't burn it, it'll be fine.
  3. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until well concentrated in flavour but not too thick.
  4. Taste the sauce and season with salt if you think it really needs it and now's the time to add more paprika cumin to taste.
To Finish
  1. Return the meatballs to the sauce and, over low heat and stir together to heat through.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Scatter with the chopped coriander and serve with warm flatbread.
Did you make this recipe?
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