Makweti-Style Lamb Tagine


  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 shoulder of lamb
    • Trimmed and cut into 5cm / 2 inch chunks, about 1.1kg / 2 1/2 lb meat in total
  • 2 large onions, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp argan oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 570ml tomato juice
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 115g dried apricots, cut in half
  • 55g dates, cut in half
  • 55g sultanas or raisins
  • 85g flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp saffron stamens, soaked in cold water
  • 600ml / 1 pint lamb stock
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped



1. Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl, and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to l50 degrees C / 300F / Gas 2.

3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of argan oil in a large casserole dish. Add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft, but not yet coloured. Add the crushed garlic for the final 3 minutes.

4. ln a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides. Add the browned meat to the casserole dish. De-glaze the frying pan with 470ml / 1 pint tomato juice and add these juices to the pan.

5. Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, dates, raisins or sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil. Cover wth a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.

6. Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle the chopped herbs over your dish.

Serve with pride, because it’s going to be a delicious dish! Best enjoyed with friends and family.

PS: If you use the metric system, use this conversion calculator to determine the different measurements.


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