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Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios

Cuisine: Moroccan / Morocco
Region: Common

The Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios is a classic Moroccan Tagine recipe that’s usually made for weddings and family gatherings. It will take some time to cook but… as with almost all traditional recipes everywhere in the World there’s no shortcut: it. must. cook. slowly.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 120 min
You need: a heavy based casserole with a lid and small frying pan


  • 1 Kg (+ 2 Lbs) of lamb, preferably leg, but shoulder or neck will do too. Ask the clerk to cube it to bite-size pieces.
  • 2–3 Tbsp of ghee or 1/4 cup of olive oil. (See Notes)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1–2 Tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tsp ground cinnamon
  • Warm water
  • 1/4 Kg (approx. 8 oz) pitted dates (full and moist is better than squished and dry)
  • 1 Tbsp honey; the darker the honey, the better.
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Tsp of butter
  • 2–3 Tbsp blanched almonds
  • 2 Tbsp shelled pistachios
  • 1 bunch of parsley, diced


  1. Put the tagine or casserole or dutch oven on a medium fire and add the ghee.
  2. Heat the ghe (it won’t take long) and add the onions.
  3. Saute the onions until they turn golden / brown.
  4. Add the turmeric, the ginger and the cinnamon. Give it a good stir.
  5. Wait for a beat or two and add the meat.
  6. Stir the meat in the spices, making sure that the meat is coated on all sides.
  7. Add enough warm water to almost cover the meat.
  8. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low or low. (Low is best).
  9. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for approx. 90 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  10. Ninety minutes later: add the dates into the mix, and after that stir in the honey.
  11. Cover with a lid again and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  12. When it’s done, turn off the fire, season with salt and black pepper and let it rest.

While the meat is resting…

  1. Heat the olive oil with the butter in a small pan.
  2. Stir in the almonds and pistachios and cook until they begin to turn golden brown.


  1. Scatter the nuts over the lamb and dates and sprinkle with the parsley.
  2. It’s ready.

Sides and Salads

  • Rice or couscous will do for a side dish.
  • When it comes to salad, anything “green” with a lot of lemon juice will do. (You need the lemon juice to cut through the sweetness of the recipe.)

Notes on the Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios

  • Substituting ghee with olive oil will makes the recipe Kosher.
Clay Tajine

The Tagine is a kind of clay cook-ware with a heavy conical lid.

Since it is most likely difficult to find a proper North African Tajine pot where we live, we can safely substitute it with either a heavy bottomed casserole with a lid, or a dutch oven.

It will probably not taste the same, given that the heating and heat retention properties of clay are quite different than those of metal cook-ware but… well.

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