Kofta and Egg Tagine



Kofta and egg tagine is one of those dishes that can be made anytime of the day. The flavors meddle so well together and if you’re able to buy or make fresh bread to scoop it up with then you should. I like to prepare the meat early in the morning and allow the ground lamb and spices to sit for a while, it really intensifies the flavors. If your in a pinch for time I would allow at least an hour if you have it to spare.

1 pound ground lamb
1 small white onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

3 potatoes, thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small white onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 eggs
chopped parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1. In a food processor pulse onion and place in a large mixing bowl. In the processor add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and mint and pulse, add to the mixing bowl as well. In the bowl add lamb, cumin, paprika, coriander, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

2. Shape into 1-inch balls then add the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and saute the kofta for about 5–7 minutes, browning on all sides. Transfer the kofta to a plate and sprinkle on parsley and pine nuts. Serve with fresh pita bread.

3. Add the onion, garlic and parsley to the frying pan over medium heat and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add the tomato sauce, cumin and salt and pepper. Add water, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Cook until thickened.

4. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a oven proof baking dish add sauce, potatoes and kofta. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Make little indentations in the top of the sauce, then break eggs carefully into them. Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes or until eggs have set. Serve immediately with some parsley sprinkled over the top.

Yields: 4 servings

  • Did you know the term tagine (or tajine) refers to a North African stew that is slow-cooked in a theatrical-looking pot of the same name.

Herbed Lamb Roast


My son’s favorite meal is lamb roast so I usually end up making it at least once a week. I usually make it the Moroccan way and use shoulder but I wanted to try an Italian version using the leg. One thing about the shoulder is that you can buy a pretty good size but it shrinks up to almost nothing while it cooks and with the leg you do not get that. You end up getting a lot more meat with the leg.

A lot of recipes say that you should substitute juices for recipes that call for wine but I have never been happy with the results and always find the meat to sweet and fruity. I have since replaced those recipes with ginger ale and wow the pan juices were as succulent as the meat.

1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf, torn in pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 (4-1/2 or 2 1-1/2 ponds) bone-in leg of lamb
1 cup ginger ale
4 small potatoes, halved
2 carrots, sliced thick

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. In a food processor combine salt, pepper, rosemary, basil and bay leaf; blend to a fine powder. Transfer spice mixture to a small bowl; mix with oil and sage, mix. Place lamb legs in a roasting pan and with a pastry brush use entire spices all over.

2. Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven add potatoes, carrots and ginger ale. Tightly cover the top with foil and place back in the oven and reduce the heat to 350F.

3. For the 4-1/2 pound lamb bake about another hour and for the two smaller ones only about 40 minutes. Serve lamb with vegetables and pan juices.

Yields: 4 servings



I am always asking my mother in law for old traditional recipes so that I can make at home and share here on Ya Salam Cooking with you all. As she was going through everything I had them all and she jokingly laughed and told me that I know more Saudi recipes then she does. She then remembered Daghabees and I was intrigued with the recipe and story about it. Daghabees is a traditional recipe from Southern Saudi. The recipes in the Southern region are nothing like the recipes here in central Saudi where you have dishes full or meat and rice. They actually do not eat a lot of rice in the south and the dishes are much more basic.

Dagabees is a three part meal and is served the same way. A bowl is filled with the broth then on another plate you have the dough (kind of like dumplings to use in the West) and on a another plate is the meat. The three are then set in the middle and everyone just kind of digs in. Many homes also make the dish without the meat and use black lentils in its place since not everyone was able to afford meat. I am personally not a big fan of black lentils since they stay kind of crisp and not soft like red lentils.

My mother in law told me that when she was a little girl she would have to stay up late making tons of the dough rounds for this dish for her large family and that her mom would tell her that if she did not get it all taken care of she would not be allowed to go to school the next day. Could you even imagine telling that to a kid today? They sure are spoiled!

Traditionally lamb pieces with the bones still on (for flavor) are used for this dish but I am aware that lamb is not easily available to all of you so replace it with beef. You can also just use brown flour instead of Dubai brown (which my mother in law insisted was the best for this recipe). She also uses only chicken bullion cubes even in meat dishes because she says the meat cubes do not taste good so I just go with her on that one with my dishes as well because her food is amazing and she knows what she is doing. I also chopped my tomatoes, garlic and onion in my food processor because I hate big chunks of stuff in my food plus it really brings the flavor out.

Lamb pieces with bones (I used 8 big pieces)
1 large white onion, diced
7 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
6 green cardamom pods, bruised
2 tomatoes, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
2-1/2 chicken bullion cubes (Maggi)
3 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups brown flour (Dubai brown)

1. In a stock pot add oil, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cardamoms. All lamb and brown on all sides then add tomatoes, saute and cover water. Add lid half way propped open on top and allow to cook for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make dough. In a a large mixing bowl add flour and a little bit of water until a dough consistency has formed. Make fluffy rounds the size of a tea saucer. When stock has cooked carefully drop dough rounds into the pan. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes carefully flipping dough every 5 minutes. Then remove from heat.

3. To serve add broth in one bowl, dough on one plate and meat on another plate.

Yields: 3-4 servings