Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Tagine Saga

About a year ago, I had a dinner party in which I had a Moroccan theme (I got the recipe ideas from the lovely Coby on, I haven't been able to find it again to post the link here). It was a fabulous meal with a lovely lamb tagine, some gorgeous spiced couscous and a couple of well worked salads, vege dishes and flatbreads to go with it. I made the lamb tagine in the crockpot which worked well and it was really delicious. As a result of how well the night went my dear husband decided to investigate buying me the real thing- an authentic tagine that is! He found a potter in Wellington who makes them, picked a red one and got it couriered here as a surprise early anniversary present. He was so excited about having done this all on his own and having done something original that he kept telling me he had ordered me something, and that I would really, really love it!
Anyway, he hyped it up so much that when it actually arrived I was.......quite underwhelmed!
At the time it was the kind of thing that I would quite like to have- but there were probably 20 other things I could have rattled off that I wanted before that came up. So we had a bit of a 'tiff' over it, me thinking how well does he really know me, him thinking what an ungrateful cow!
Fair enough too, I was an ungrateful cow. It was a kind and thoughtful thing to do (even if I am only acknowledging it a year later!)
So, in honour of the love and kindness that went into its acquisition I thought I had better jolly well use it! I made a lamb, pumpkin and apricot tagine for its inaugural outing and it cooked just beautifully. The cone shaped design is suppose to affect the way it cooks, but to be honest all I care about is that it works and it looks great! So, I will be using it again soon, I have a lovely chicken and lemon tagine that is crying out to be made.......

Lamb and Pumpkin Tagine with apricots


  • 170g (about 1 cup) dried apricots
  • 1kg boned lamb shoulder or leg, fat removed or 1 x Leg of Lamb, bone removed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oil or clarified butter
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tsp each ground turmeric, cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (or 1/2 tsp fresh chopped chilli)
  • 1 tsp each coriander, salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 450g piece pumpkin (2 cups peeled, diced)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Soak apricots in cold water to cover. Cut lamb into 2cm cubes. Grind some pepper over and mix through.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-based metal casserole (or frying pan). Brown lamb, a little at a time; don't crowd the pan. Turn cubes with tongs; remove as they brown.
  3. Reduce heat. Add garlic, ginger and onions. Saute on low, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping bottom of pan well. Add spices and salt. Stir in hot water then diced pumpkin. Combine with browned lamb.

  4. Cook in covered casserole in oven, 160 degrees celsius, for 1 hour. Drain apricots and add. Cover and cook 1 more hour until lamb is tender.
    Optional: add lemon juice.
  5. Serve hot with rice or couscous and vegetables.

    Footnote: Of course as soon as I published this post I knew I would find the links I wanted! The Moroccan dinner party recipes can be found here: (I made all the recipes and they are all excellent! The tagine was made by Herluf Anderson and was purchased at Vessel (in Wellington)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This tagine sounds really good & I look forward to making it soon!