Recipe: Megan Coupland of Red Kitchen | Photography: Brydie Thompson

This meal is such a favourite. It makes me quite excited about sharing it. Someone I know really well, she’s related, does not share recipes. If someone is persistent she will reluctantly pass on the recipe leaving out one or two magic ingredients. Yes… you know who you are!

Sauce
400g tin organic cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp quince paste
1 cup vegetable stock (I use vegeta)

Kefta
500g good lean lamb mince
6 cloves garlic crushed
¾ preserved lemon
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp fennel seeds
feta
chopped parley
salt and pepper

For the sauce, add the tomatoes, quince and stock in the tagine and mix well. You may taste a little bit of sweetness, but not to worry, the kefta will balance that out.
For the kefta, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. With wet hands, mould 30g balls and give them a squeeze so they resemble an oblong shape.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan and panfry them till they are browned on the outside, but still raw in the middle.
Take the kefta out of the pan and pop straight into the tomato sauce, put the lid on the tagine and gently simmer for approx 15 minutes, until cooked though. Let rest for 5 minutes, sprinkle with crumbled feta and chopped parsley and serve with the lid on.
Serve with cauli couscous or Alexandra’s have a delicious spinach and pinenut couscous that is available at food stores.

Variations: Once I have got all the kefta into the sauce, I simmer for a few minutes and pop some eggs in between the kefta to poach (do not stir at this stage, you want to keep the eggs whole).

Perfect Couscous
I make couscous for tagine a little dryer so there is still a bit of absorption room for the juices of the tagine. If you are making couscous for a salad or another dish with a thicker sauce, then use 2 cups of boiling water instead of 1½.

1 cup couscous
salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups boiling water

Put the couscous in a bowl and mix in the salt and olive oil.
Pour over the boiling water and mix well and immediately cover with cling film.
Leave to sit for 15 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Do not leave it any longer as it will become clumpy.
This is ready to eat or you can add other flavours at this point, like chopped herbs, citrus zest, toasted pine nuts.

Cauliflower Couscous
This keeps the tagines paleo and gluten free, our kids also love it.

1 small clean cauliflower
1 tbsp turmeric
vegetable stock (I use a msg free vegeta)

Fill a large pot with your cold stock, whisk in salt and turmeric. Turmeric can go lumpy if you add it to hot water and we want it to dissolve. Bring it to the boil.
Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor till it resembles a crumbly texture like couscous, maybe a little bit larger.
Add it to the boiling turmeric water, and cook for only 1-2 minutes, so it takes on the flavour and colour but still has a crunchy texture.
Drain in a colander, and this is ready to serve.

Note: You can also make cauliflower rice by grating the stalks of the cauliflower and cooking using the same method above but omitting the turmeric.

Tajine 2

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