Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup tagine and 3/4 cup couscous)

Warm cinnamon and saffron combine with coriander and cumin to lend complex flavor to this Moroccan-style lamb tagine. This festive dish is served over couscous to soak up the delicious gravy.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°.

Step 2

Combine first 8 ingredients.

Step 3

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add lamb; cook 8 minutes on all sides or until browned. Remove lamb from pan. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in half of chile mixture and tomato purée; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lamb and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.

Step 4

Wrap handle of skillet with foil, and bake, covered, at 325° for 1 hour. Stir in bell pepper, squash, carrot, saffron, and cinnamon. Cover and bake an additional 40 minutes. Stir in remaining chile mixture and apricots. Cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick; serve over couscous. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Chef's Notes

Adding the spice paste in two stages gives depth and brightens the flavor. Leaving the cinnamon whole keeps its influence subtle. Moroccan tagines tend to be warmly and sweetly spiced rather than hot.

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Ratings & Reviews

goodrel8's Review

November 19, 2012
Amazing easy to make dish. I increased the cumin and coriander seeds to about 1.5 teaspoons each. After toasting those I ground half of them with the chili, ginger, garlic, pepper, salt and paprika and left the other half whole in the spice mix. Because they're in season, I used a seasonal ripe red poblano pepper in place of the bell peppers, increasing the squash a little. Lastly, I had some local, organic dried figs, about 1/4 cup, I added with the squash and carrot and omitted the cilantro because it was storming like crazy and I didn't feel like going outside to pick it. With the last addition of the apricots and spices, I grated just a TINY little bit of kaffir lime rind into it. Tamarind paste would work, too though one would need about 2 T to get the same tang. Served with a dollop of greek yogurt and some chutney. I'm pretty sure this one will be made often. I asked the family if it should go in the "keeper" file. Mi esposo said "let's put it in the repeat soon file".

CatieIrishRose's Review

June 08, 2014
This is a great recipe! The dish is full of flavor. I used an organic Moroccan saffron I purchased from Amazon, which enhanced the flavor of the dish. If you are interested, you can check it out here Thanks! Keep these great recipes coming!

prettypurplekao's Review

December 06, 2012
This dish was too sweet for me. There was not much depth or range of flavor. It was all just sweet and more sweet. I think the butternut squash combined with the cinnamon was too much sweet in this dish. I used serrano instead of anaheim because I could not find fresh anaheim chiles where I live, but the dish still had no heat. And the seasoning was not that impressive. I did use dried seasonings in place of fresh, because I had the dried versions on hand. Not sure if this was a deal breaker for the recipe or not. Would not waste my time on a complicated recipe like this again.

Mh1126's Review

November 05, 2011
My go to recipe ever since it was first published in Fall '03. I make it annually. I do omit the apricots but add more of the first 8 ingredients to the meat a day before to marinate.