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We absolutely love Moroccan food and it is a real treat when we go to our favorite place and order the delicious lamb tagine. A tagine (or tajine) is the typical, North African clay or ceramic cookware in which this dish is made. Consisting of two parts, the meal is traditionally cooked over coals (or in the oven, or on the stove) in a circular, shallow dish that is covered by a dome-shaped, conical lid that promotes the return of condensation to the meat and sauce.

The combination of spices in this recipe is superb, and the presence of the honey and dates really evens out the flavor and makes it special. If you feel like stepping out of your comfort zone and making something a little out of the norm, do try this dish — you won’t regret it!

Lamb Tagine

Serves 6


  • 3 pounds lamb loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 24 Medjool dates, whole
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 (32 oz.) container low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz.) box couscous
  • 1 cup almonds, halved and toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. In a small bowl, combine honey, paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and mix well.
  2. Place cubed lamb in a large, re-sealable bag and pour in seasoning mixture. Seal bag, shake well, making sure to cover all sides of lamb cubes, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  3. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat and add onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and translucent, 8-10 minutes, and remove from heat.
  4. Remove lamb from refrigerator and bring back to room temperature. In batches, place cubes in Dutch oven and brown on all sides.
  5. Return onions to pot and cook with lamb. Add dates, cinnamon stick, garlic, ginger, lemon zest and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until lamb is cooked through and sauce has reduced.
  7. Prepare couscous according to packaging directions.
  8. Skim off excess surface fat, remove cinnamon stick, add toasted almonds and serve with couscous.

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

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