World Cuisine

Meatball and Egg Tagine with Toasted Cumin

cook 30 mins
  • 600 ml (1 pint) water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1–2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
  • buttered toasted flatbreads, to serve (optional)
  • 225 g (7 1/2 oz) lean minced lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1–2 teaspoons dried mint
  • 1–2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1–2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • salt and pepper
  • To make the meatballs, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and season. Knead the mixture well, then roll cherry-sized pieces into firm balls. Pour the measurement water into a large saucepan or the base of a tagine and bring to the boil. Add the meatballs, a few at a time, and poach for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Pour about 125 ml (4 fl oz) of the cooking liquid into a saucepan or the base of a tagine and bring to the boil. Stir in the butter, salt and cayenne, then add the meatballs. Make 4 wells, then break the eggs into the wells, cover and cook for 5–6 minutes until the whites are just set but the yolks are still runny.
  • Meanwhile, dry-fry the cumin seeds in a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes until they emit a nutty aroma. Tip into a spice grinder and grind over the eggs. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately, with buttered toasted flatbreads, if liked.
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