Moroccan Lamb and Aubergine Tajine

There is something very magical about preparing a Moroccan tajine. It's an almost therapeutic process; building up layer upon layer of flavour and spices to create a dish with rich complexity. But that's not what I believe makes it so special; the magic lies in the vessel (also called a tajine) which is traditionally used to prepare the recipe - a clay terracotta bottom and dome-shaped lid designed for no other purpose. And that of course only serves to give its preparation a sense of occasion.

Ingredients:
  • 2T chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2t freshly chopped chilli
  • 2T Moroccan rub spice mix
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 600g beef or lamb mince
  • Tomato date sauce:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 4 fresh dates, chopped
  • dried chilli, to taste
  • 4 long aubergines, thinly sliced
  • 2T chopped fresh parsley
  • To serve:
  • Couscous
  • Mediterranean Delicacies Tzatziki
  • or Mediterranean Delicacies Low Fat Tzatziki
  • Toasted pine nuts

Method: 

Make the keftas by mixing all the ingredients together and shaping them into sausages.

Heat a little oil in a pan and brown them on all sides (they don't need to be cooked through) and set aside.

For the sauce, heat a little olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft.

Add the tomatoes, spices, dates and chilli and simmer gently.

Sprinkle the aubergine slices with salt and olive oil and place under a hot grill until golden brown and soft.

Wrap each kefta in the aubergine slices and place the parcels into the sauce.

Simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with couscous, minted yoghurt, pomegranate rubies and toasted pine nuts.

TIP To make your own Moroccan spice blend, mix 1/2t each of ground cinnamon, cumin, fennel, nutmeg and paprika and store in a sealed jar.

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