Sep 06


FT + Pumpkin Publog10 comments • 10,145 views

Tagine(this recipe is adapted from claudia roden’s 1968 classic A Book of Middle Eastern Food) (warning: it takes abt three hours from start to finish, but you can do other things during almost all of this)

1 x aztec marmite (or equiv)
1 x tiny frying pan (needn’t be tiny)

2 or even 3 lbs LAMB cut in cubes*
1 x tin prunes
1 or even 2 onions chopped up v.wee
honey to taste

dash of oil (easy to overdo)
saffron (half tsp)**
ground ginger (half tsp)
ground coriander (whole tsp)
ground cinnamon (2 x tsp)
salt and pepper

sesame seeds

i. put everything in pot except prunes and honey and sesame seeds
ii. pour in water to just cover
iii. bring to boil
iv. turn down to simmer for TWO HOURS
v. meanwhile, destone prunes — you can use the juice for OTHER PURPOSES (!)
vi. cover surface of pan w.sesame seeds — turn heat on — WATCH till they go brownish (they contineu to brown a bit after you turn heat off so don’t go too far)
vi. after two hours is up, mix in prunes and simmer for 20 mins more
vii. after 20 mins is up, mix in honey (AT LEAST two tablespoons — i used five last night) and simmer for another 15 mins (or until eaters are gathered)***
viii. spinkle brown sesame seeds onto helpings and SERVE (will serve 2 or even 3 — more if you do it with rice or couscous)****

*recipe says use LEG but this is pricey: i use SCRAG END, now poncily sold as “NECK” but foolin no one
**the lid of my saffron container is hard to get off which means i ALWAYS have to spend five mins picking up individual bits of saffron as it is too expensive to throw away
***be sure to get the honey to dissolve by stirring vigorously as you put it in, or it will go straight to the bottom and CARBONISE
****ps there is another version of this using QUINCES!!


  1. 1
    Tim Hopkins on 13 Sep 2006 #

    One of the editions of that Roden book has illustrations by Edward Bawden, which I’ve never seen. Unfortunately, I don’t know which edition(s) and don’t really fancy ordering multiple copies online.

    I bet this would get better if you doubled the quantity of ginger.

  2. 2

    re ginger: haha i already did double it!! CR sed “quarter tsp” which is the same as NO GINGER AT ALL as far as i’m concerned

  3. 3

    re bawden: my guess is the 1968 pre-penguin hardback

    (also: click through to the amazon link and enlarge the cover image — is that bawden?)

  4. 4
    Tim Hopkins on 13 Sep 2006 #

    I think probably not, though it is hard to tell at that size (even enlarged). It’s not obviously his work.

  5. 5
    Tom on 13 Sep 2006 #

    What happens to the sesame seeds after they have been used for pan decoration?

  6. 6

    oops i shall AMEND and KORREKT

  7. 7
    Tom on 4 Feb 2007 #

    I am making this RIGHT NOW.

  8. 8
    Tom on 5 Feb 2007 #

    It wuz delicious – and fits nicely into the set of “interesting but not too spicy things I can cook for unadventurous parents”.

  9. 9
    Sarah on 5 Feb 2007 #

    I call it LAMB WITH JAM and recommend it wholeheartedly!

  10. 10
    Abi on 31 Oct 2008 #

    Hi there – this was yum, but I think I overdid the prunes, cos mine come in a pot and not a tin – disastrous consequences! Roughly how many prunes in a tin please?

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