kofte tajine


Back when I visited Great Britain in 1997, I came away sorely unimpressed by the food. The Indian food was excellent in our neighborhood, but everything else, in England and in Wales, was… less impressive. And covered in mayonnaise.

With that memory in mind, I was a little skeptical as I found myself saving recipes from the Telegraph. But I was in an adventurous mood.

This recipe called for a few things I didn’t have to hand and had to fake and one (the preserved lemon) that I wouldn’t have had to fake if I’d had the foresight. I used beef instead of lamb, since that’s what I had, but the kicker was “ground mixed spice,” which is not a mélange that has migrated over to this side of the Atlantic. (Possibly because it’s English and we know better.) A bit of googling got me only a couple of recipes, none of which matched each other in the slightest. I picked one fairly at random – or at least one that was light on mace and nutmeg, since I’m not a huge fan.


I halved the recipe, since I was already halving the tajine recipe, and I wasn’t sure what else I’d use it for. I’m not familiar enough with English puddings to say whether it is reminiscent, but the results were pleasant and definitely more than the sum of their parts.


A pound of meatballs. I could have done the onion a little smaller, but it didn’t really matter much.


Browning in batches.


On to the onions.


One of my other substitutions was to use my faux saffron, which is, as you can see, much less in cost and potency than the real stuff, but works quite well.

I added a couple more ounces of liquid than the recipe called for, but that was intentional on my part, and it came out quite tasty, English recipe origin or not. Not too sweet and the kofte have a nice kick to them. I served it over bulgur.


One thought on “kofte tajine

  1. The meatballs look very good. One of the best spices/ seasoning mixtures for tajine (as well as Moroccan lentil soups) is la kama or lakama. Kalustian’s has an excellent blend, mildly pungent because of all of the ground black pepper. Use about 1/2 Tablespoon per quart of finished recipe. Add at the end of the saute step for the last 1 to 2 mins, to develop the flavor before liquid is added. la kama (mixed w/ an equal vol of olive oil to make a thin paste) can be massaged into meat about to be dry roasted, eg. lamb roast of roast chicken.
    Another la kama is: (All versions contain the same five ingredients)
    1 Tb ground cinnamon
    2 Tb ground black pepper
    2 Tb ground ginger
    2 Tb turmeric
    3/4 tsp ground nutmeg.
    Blend well and seal in glass jar.

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