Make the tomato sauce
You’ll need two pounds – about 1 kg – of ripe tomatoes to make the sauce.
Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds, and then grate them directly into your tagine or skillet. Discard the skin. If you prefer, you can also peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.
Add the following to the grated tomatoes:
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Place the tagine or skillet over medium-low to medium heat, cover, and bring the tomato sauce to a simmer. If cooking in a tagine, use a diffuser between the tagine and burner. Be patient – it might take up to 15 minutes for the sauce to reach a simmer in a tagine. Once simmering, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer. Leave the sauce to cook while you prepare the meatballs.
Make the kefta
Combine the following to make the kefta:
- 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)
- 1 medium onion, chopped very fine
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika (or 1/8 teaspoon ground hot pepper)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Use your hands to knead everything together, and then shape the kefta into very small meatballs.. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, along with a little water – 1/4 cup (60 ml) is usually enough – and cover. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.
Add the eggs at end
Break the (4 or so) eggs over the top of the meatballs, and cover. Cook the tagine for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are solid and the yolks are partially set. Serve immediately.
Kefta Mkaouara is traditionally served from the same dish in which it was prepared, with each person using crusty bread to scoop up meatballs from his own side of the dish.