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tagine with couscous

Lamb Tagine with Apricots and Almonds Recipe

The Homesteading Hippy
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Cuisine North African
Calories 535 kcal


Spice rub for meat

  • 2 teaspoons fine black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the tagine

  • 3 ½ pounds shoulder of lamb cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 white or yellow onions red onions are less pungent
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ cup dried apricots or sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 14 ounce can of chickpeas
  • 2 x 14 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes


  • Combine the spices in a large bowl then remove half of the mix and set aside in a small bowl.
    Lamb pieces ready to rub with spice
  • Add the meat to the large bowl making sure to coat each piece with spice and rub it into the meat (You may want to wear surgical gloves during this process as the turmeric will stain your fingers).
  • Set the bowl with the meat aside in the refrigerator and allow to stand for around 5-6 hours or over night so it is well seasoned.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and heat to medium hot then add the sliced onions, stirring to coat with the oil and fry for around 5 minutes or until they become translucent.
  • Add the mixed spices from the small bowl, the crushed garlic, and stir to fry, releasing all the fragrance of the spices.
  • Remove the onion mix from the skillet and place in the Dutch Oven.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and fry the meat in batches, ensuring it becomes nicely browned – each batch should take around 5 minutes or so. Adding too much meat at once will cause the temperature to drop and it will tend to boil in the juices instead of frying.
  • Add browned meat to the Dutch Oven.
    Lamb pieces browned and added to the braised onion
  • Deglaze the skillet with 100 ml of water, ensuring you scrape up all those delicious spices and add to the Dutch oven.
  • Cut the apricots in half and add them, or the sultanas (whole) as well as the tablespoon of honey.
  • Place Dutch Oven over medium high heat and open the can of chickpeas – remember to drain and rinse them before adding.
  • Add the cans of chopped tomatoes and stir the whole mix in the Dutch Oven and allow to heat through on medium high heat.
    chickpeas, tomato added and ready to cook slowly
  • Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer gently for three hours, stirring occasionally and checking to see it is not getting too dry. It shouldn’t in a Dutch oven or tagine, but if it does, add a little more water.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Roast the flaked (slivered) almonds in a dry pan, watching carefully that they don’t burn but just become golden.
  • When meat is fall-apart tender remove from the heat and allow to rest while you prepare the couscous, which takes around two minutes, or heat your Moroccan Flatbreads.
  • Before serving stir the toasted almonds into the tagine, reserving a few to decorate the top of the tagine.
  • Add some chopped parsley and coriander just before serving.