photo of Moroccon inspired Kofta Tagine

Koftas to fight a gloomy day

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Tagine or Tajine is a name of the earthen pot used in Moroccan cuisine to cook meat, fish or vegetables. Typical tagine has a long conical shaped lid and heavy broad base. The steam is not allowed to escape, so it is usually preferred for slow cooking. Meat remains tender and moist. Back home in Assam, we cook koftas in a creamy tomato gravy. And I have cooked it a few times before as well. This time around when I was preparing to make kofta curry, the weather suddenly turned dark and gloomy. I felt I need to spice up the dish to contrast with the weather outside. Incidentally, a couple of days back I had oven roasted sweet chilli peppers (they are not exactly sweet). So I quickly soaked some dried Kashmiri chillies and blended both the chilies along with a few spices to make a chllli paste which was inspired by the recipe for Harissa paste. (Harissa is a fiery red pepper paste and used mainly in Tunisia and Morocco). I have posted a recipe exclusively for the Harissa inspired chili paste essential to this recipe.

This Moroccan inspired tagine requires a little time and effort but results are astounding. The heat from the paste lingers for a long time and leaves you warm within. It is a kind of comfort food. I used chicken mince but feel free to use lamb or beef. As the cozy egg breaks and mixes with the gravy, the world just seems right and in perfect balance.

O my god I am such a foodie!!
Serve this sumptuous meal with Arabic bread or even rice.

Moroccan inspired Kofta Taginekofta-tagine-ex-8826

Course:  Main
Cuisine: Moroccon/ Indian
Preparation Time: 20 min

Cooking Time:  45 min
Yield: serves 4
Chicken mince 550 g
Onion 1
Garlic paste 1 ½ Tbsp
Ginger paste 1 ½ Tbsp
Paprika 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander and mint (chopped) ½ cup
Fresh tomatoes 500 g
Tomato puree 2 tbsp
Onion 2
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Paprika 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Red chili paste 1 ½ tbsp
Salt 1 ½ tsp
Black pepper 1/8 tsp
Olives 2 tbsp.
Egg 3-4
Coriander + mind (chopped)
  1. For the Kofta: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Make the koftas of the desired size.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the koftas just to get a nice color on the outside. Keep turning the koftas so that the contact with the pan is not more than 10-15 seconds. They will get cooked in the oven later
  4. For the Sauce: Heat some oil in a pan (you can use the same pan)
  5. Add garlic and onion. Saute them for some time and add the chopped deseeded tomatoes
  6. When the tomatoes have reduced add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes
  7. Remove from fire and let it cool down before blending into a fine thick sauce
  8. Add a little water if you feel. Arrange the koftas in a oven proof dish and pour the sauce over them Bake for 10-15 mins in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius
  9. Crack open the egg slowly over the kofta gravy
  10. Put it back in the oven for 10 mins.

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