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Kefta Mkaouara (Moroccan Meatball Tagine)

Kefta Mkaouara is a Moroccan dish made up of tiny meatballs, simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce and crowned with poached eggs.

Kefta Mkaouara is a Moroccan dish made up of tiny meatballs, simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce and crowned with poached eggs. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comThere is something about making meatballs. Big ones, normal ones, small ones. I don’t know what it is, but mashing all the ingredients together, shaping, and cooking them is just so rewarding.

This Moroccan Meatball Tagine is such a fun way to eat meatballs. Here in the States we may be familiar with meatballs in tomato sauce to top our pasta, but this is a whole new side of meatballs and tomatoes that you have never seen before!

Kefta Mkaouara is a Moroccan dish made up of tiny meatballs, simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce and crowned with poached eggs. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comKefta Mkaouara: Moroccan Meatballs

These meatballs do not use eggs or breadcrumbs as a binder, meaning that they are simply robust, meaty chunks in our aromatic, stewed tomatoes.

This dish is incredibly flavorful and savory. Some like it spicy, others prefer to go lighter on the heat. Feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper to your spice preference. We found that 1/8 tsp gives just a hint of spice that doesn’t linger.

Don’t forget to serve this dish with a warm flatbread to scoop up all the tomato goodness!

Kefta Mkaouara is a Moroccan dish made up of tiny meatballs, simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce and crowned with poached eggs. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comWhat is a Tagine?

This dish falls under the realm of Moroccan cooking that is typically done in a tagine. A tagine is a cooking vessel used in North African cooking that is made up of a wide base and a cone-shaped top. Tagines are traditionally used for long, slow cooking over hot coals, but the stove top or oven work well too. The shape of the vessel condenses the steam on the inside of the lid, causing it to run back into the ingredients, keeping everything incredibly moist.

If you love North African and Moroccan cooking, a tagine makes a fun addition to your collection of cookware, but if you don’t have a tagine, don’t worry, because you can still enjoy this tasty dish. We have yet to purchase a tagine, so all of our tagine-style cooking is done in our cast iron skillet or cast iron Dutch oven. We do prefer to use cast iron for these dishes, but whatever you choose, just make sure it has a tight-fitting lid.

Kefta Mkaouara is a Moroccan dish made up of tiny meatballs, simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce and crowned with poached eggs. | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com
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5 from 3 votes

Kefta Mkaouara (Moroccan Meatball Tagine)

Meatballs get a Moroccan twist in this unique dish.  Kefta Mkaouara is a Moroccan dish made up of tiny meatballs, simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce and crowned with poached eggs.
Yield: 1 (10 inch) skillet (For best results, use a skillet with a lid.) 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: meatballs, skillet dinner
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 470kcal
Author: Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, diced (or 2 -14 oz cans of sodium free diced tomatoes, drained)
  • tsp paprika
  • tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
  • 3 Tb fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dry)

For the Kefta (Meatballs)

  • 1 lb ground beef, 90% lean
  • 1 onion, small, minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dry)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)

Finishing It Off

  • 4 eggs

Instructions

For the Sauce

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid (preferably cast iron) (or a tagine with a heat diffuser*) over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the meatballs. (Taste the sauce and adjust salt to your taste preference, if necessary.)

For the Kefta (Meatballs)

  • Mix all the Kefta ingredients in a large bowl, mixing with your hands until just combined. Scoop about 1 Tbsp of meat mixture and shape it into a small, 1 inch, ball. Continue until all the meat has been shaped.
  • Nestle meatballs in the sauce.** Cover the pan and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Finishing It Off

  • Remove lid and, with large spoon, make 4 deep wells in sauce amidst the meatballs. Crack an egg into each well. Return the lid and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until egg whites are set.
  • Serve the dish immediately with flatbread or rice.

Notes

*If using a tagine: Either sauté the onions and garlic in a separate pan first, before adding them to the tagine, or omit this step. (But still add the oil with the onions to the tagine.)
**Depending on the size of your pan, you may have extra meatballs. They can be skillet fried, baked for 25 minutes at 350F, or frozen for later use.

Nutrition

Serving: 3portions | Calories: 470kcal

 


Check out this collection of cultural and culturally-inspired meatballs below from some of our favorite bloggers! 

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