Recipe: fruity lamb tagine

Superhealthy, supereasy, supertasty. Yum!

Mr E. and I have just enjoyed a very nice lamb tagine. It was based on a recipe on the BBC Good Food website here, with a few tweaks made along the way, namely:

  • forgetting the carrots;
  • adding 100g of dried prunes which had been sat at the back of the cupboard;
  • adding an aubergine and a couple of courgettes; and
  • omitting the pomegranate seeds and coriander as we couldn’t find any in the shops.

So, as follows:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g lean diced lamb
  • 1 large onion , roughly chopped (I used 3 small red onions)
  • 2 large carrots , quartered lengthways and cut into chunks(I forgot these)
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice mix (see tip, below)(I made this earlier – so nice – had me smiling every time that I walked into the kitchen today)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 200g dried apricots
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • ADDED: 100g dried prunes
  • ADDED: 1 medium aubergine, diced
  • ADDED: 2 medium courgettes, diced


Again, I didn’t follow the original directions (which involved, to borrow the words of Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman, ‘a lot of faffing about’).


  • browned off the lamb in a pan on the hob
  • added the onion and chopped garlic, and cooked until softened
  • added the spice mix, and cooked a little further
  • added the chopped tomatoes
  • then the chickpeas and aubergines
  • then the courgettes
  • then the chicken stock (which turned out to be the exact amount I had frozen in the freezer, which was pleasing).

then popped it in the oven with the lid on the pan at 200C for an hour (fan oven), and then turned it down to 180C (I had meant to set the oven at 180C originally) for another 20 mins or so.

Lovely! Works out at about 14 ProPoints on Weightwatchers’ new scheme. I’ve not worked out how much it cost yet, but will try to remember to update this post when I do work it out.

The lamb wasn’t quite as tender as I would prefer it to be (it was a bag of frozen casserole lamb) – which might be a factor of the quality of the lamb, or might be due to the slightly high heat. I am considering cooking the lamb with the onion, garlic and spices and stock and tomatoes in the slow cooker next time, and then adding the veg and chickpeas an hour or so before we want to eat.

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a casserole and brown the lamb on all sides. Scoop the lamb out onto a plate, then add the onion and carrots and cook for 2-3 mins until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the spices and tomatoes, and season. Tip the lamb back in with the chickpeas and apricots. Pour over the stock, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the dish and place in the oven for 1 hr.
  2. If the lamb is still a little tough, give it 20 mins more until tender. When ready, leave it to rest so it’s not piping hot, then serve scattered with pomegranate and herbs, with couscous or rice alongside.
TrySpice mix Ras el hanout, a North African spice mix, contains cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric and black pepper. Find it in larger supermarkets, or use a mix of the spices above.


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