Kefta mkaouara, also spelled kefta mkawra, is a delicious and popular Moroccan tagine of meatballs and spicy tomato sauce. Eggs are typically cooked on top of the dish, but these can be omitted. The meatballs can be made from ground lamb or beef, or a combination of the two. The sauce should be prepared from scratch using fresh, ripe tomatoes.
This classic preparation of kefta mkaouara uses a traditional kefta tagine recipe. If you don't have a tagine, a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid will work fine.
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What You Need
To make this tagine, you will need several ingredients for the tomato sauce and the meatballs. The sauce includes tomatoes, onions, garlic, and seasonings, and the meatballs are made of ground beef or lamb, onion, green pepper, eggs, and similar seasonings. Follow the ingredient list in the kefta tagine recipe, which will make four servings.
This recipe uses 2 pounds (about 1 killogram) of ripe tomatoes to make the sauce. If you don't have a kitchen scale, use approximately nine small tomatoes, seven medium, or 6 large.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
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Grate or Chop the Tomatoes
Start by cutting the tomatoes in half and removing the seeds, and then grate them directly into your tagine or skillet. Discard the skin. If you prefer, you can also peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
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Season the Tomato SauceContinue to 4 of 8 below.
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Cook the Tomato Sauce
Place the tagine or skillet over medium-low to medium heat, cover, and bring the tomato sauce to a simmer. If cooking in a tagine, use a diffuser between the tagine and burner. Be patient—it might take up to 15 minutes for the sauce to reach a simmer in a tagine.
Once simmering, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer. Leave the sauce to cook while you prepare the meatballs.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Make the Kefta Meatballs
Next, you'll make the kefta meatballs. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to knead everything together. Then shape the kefta into very small meatballs, about 3/4 inch in diameter.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
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Cook the Meatballs in the Tomato Sauce
Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce along with a little water; 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) is usually enough, but you can thin the sauce even more if you like. Cover the tagine and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
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Add the Eggs on Top
Break the eggs over the top of the meatballs and cover the pot. Poach the eggs in the sauce for five to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are solid and the yolks are partially set.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
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Serve the Moroccan Meatball Tagine
Kefta mkaouara is traditionally served from the same dish in which it was prepared, with each person using crusty bread to scoop up meatballs from their side of the dish.