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Moroccan Lamb and Prunes Tagine

Lamb Tagine is a quintessential Moroccan dish, embodying the rich culinary traditions of North Africa. This slow-cooked stew, named after the earthenware pot it’s traditionally cooked in, offers a harmonious blend of sweet and savoury flavours accentuated by a medley of aromatic spices. Moroccan Lamb and Prunes Tagine is a particularly celebrated variant, where the succulence of lamb meets the sweet depth of prunes, creating a dish that’s as comforting as it is sophisticated.

At the heart of this dish lies a carefully curated selection of spices—saffron, ginger, turmeric, and coriander—each contributing its unique flavour and colour to the stew. The lamb, marinated in these spices and slow-cooked to tender perfection, falls apart at the slightest touch, while prunes add a sweet contrast that is distinctively Moroccan.

The preparation begins with a simple marination of lamb, infused with the earthiness of spices and the subtle hint of saffron, setting the stage for a culinary delight. As it simmers gently in the tagine, the lamb absorbs the essence of each ingredient, melding with the onions, garlic, and the sweet undertone of prunes and honey to create a rich, layered stew.

The dish is not just a testament to the flavours of Morocco but also to the country’s ethos of hospitality and sharing. Served from the same pot it’s cooked in, Lamb Tagine is a communal dish meant to be shared, making it perfect for gatherings and family meals. Whether served with couscous or crusty bread, each spoonful is a dive into the warmth and generosity of Moroccan cuisine, making it more than just a meal—it’s an experience to be savoured.

Basic Ingredients for Moroccan Lamb and Prunes Tagine


Saffron threads: Provides a distinctive aroma and golden colour, adding an exotic and luxurious flavour to the dish.

Lamb: The central protein, lamb, is chosen for its rich, hearty flavour that becomes exceptionally tender when slow-cooked.

Garlic cloves: Adds a foundational pungent flavour, enhancing the overall savoriness of the tagine.

Ginger powder: Contributes a warm, slightly spicy flavour that complements the lamb beautifully.

Turmeric powder: Offers a vibrant colour and a bitter, earthy flavour, which balances the sweetness of the prunes.

Coriander powder: Provides a lemony citrus flavour that brightens the dish’s rich profile.

Black pepper powder: Adds a mild heat and sharpness, enhancing the other spices.

Yellow onions: They add sweetness and depth, forming a flavorful base for the tagine.

Butter or ghee: Used for cooking, it adds richness and helps to meld the flavours together.

Coriander bunch: Adds a fresh, herbal note that complements the heavier flavours.

Prunes: Introduce a natural sweetness, contrasting with and balancing the savoury and spiced elements.


Prunes: Introduce a natural sweetness, contrasting with and balancing the savoury and spiced elements.

Rose water: Imparts a floral aroma, adding a layer of complexity to the dish.

Cinnamon stick: Introduces a warm, sweet spice, counterbalancing the savoury elements.

Honey: Enhances the sweetness prunes introduce, adding to the dish’s depth.


Almonds and sesame seeds: Provide a nutty crunch and visual appeal.

alternative ingredients

Lamb: Beef or chicken can be substituted for lamb, though the cooking times will vary.

Prunes: Dried apricots or raisins can substitute, offering different yet complementary sweet notes.

Butter/ghee: Olive oil or another cooking oil can be used for a lighter version.

Preparation Tips for Moroccan Lamb and Prunes Tagine

  • Marination: Allowing the lamb to marinate for an extended period enhances the depth of flavour.
  • Saffron infusion: Steeping saffron in boiling water releases its colour and aroma, maximising its impact on the dish.
  • Layering: Assembling ingredients in layers ensures even cooking and flavour distribution.

Serving Tips for Moroccan Lamb and Prunes Tagine

  • Serve hot, directly from the tagine, alongside couscous or bread to soak up the flavourful sauce.
  • The garnish of almonds and sesame seeds adds not just flavour but also a pleasant textural contrast.

storage tips

  • Allow the tagine to cool before refrigerating. Store in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
  • The tagine can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently before serving to preserve flavours and textures.
  • This dish can also be frozen for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Moroccan Lamb and Prunes Tagine

Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Resting time (ideally overnight): 20 minutes



  • pinch saffron threads, finely ground
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 kg lamb (with or without bone), cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ cup butter or ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch coriander, tied
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 350 g dried prunes, pitted
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp honey


  • ½ cup almonds
  • couple tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  • In a small cup combine the ground saffron with ¼ cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl combine the lamb with the garlic, ginger powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper and saffron water. Mix the ingredients together and make sure to coat the lamb.  Cover the bowl with cling wrap and allow to marinate for at least 15 to 20 minutes, ideally overnight.
  • In a large Tagine pot, layer the chopped onions, followed by the marinated lamb, cinnamon stick, butter or ghee and a bunch of coriander leaves. Cover the lamb with water.  Bring the liquid to a boil on high heat, reduce the heat and cook for 75 minutes.  Remove the bunch of coriander. Add prunes and honey and season with salt. Cover and continue cooking the lamb for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until the excess liquid has reduced, the sauce has thickened, and the meat has cooked through and softened. 
  • In a small frying pan, heat vegetable oil on medium-low heat and gently fry the almonds until golden brown. Remove and reserve on the side.
  • Serve the lamb tagine directly from the pot. Garnish with the fried almonds and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy with couscous.

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