Kefta tagine with cauliflower & saffron salad

More meatballs. I know. I need to just rename this blog to ‘Full as a meatball’ and be done with it.  

I promise you, this recipe is interesting though. This is a really easy tagine to make that uses regular store cupboard ingredients. The exotic element is the cauliflower salad, which is flavoured with saffron and is a much lighter and more summery accompaniment to the tagine than the usual couscous. I also love the eggs in the tagine which add not only colour, but a rich creaminess with the yolk. 


Serves 4

Kefta tagine with cauliflower salad

220Total Time

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    For the tagine500g beef mince
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • small bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1kg tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 eggs
  • For the salad1 cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 70g unsalted almonds
  • half tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Mix the beef and onion in a large bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours to let the flavours develop.
  2. Make the dressing. Put the saffron into a small bowl and pour over 1 tbsp boiling water from a kettle and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the oil and vinegar. Season and set aside. Stir well before using.
  3. Roll the beef mince mixture into walnut sized balls and brown in a hot frying pan for 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and then set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add most of the herbs, all of the spices, tomatoes, garlic and 125ml water. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, put the cauliflower and 2 tbsp oil in a large bowl and toss well. Tip the cauliflower into a baking tray and spread out to a single layer. Roast in the oven for 15-20 min until tender or golden.
  6. While that is baking, add the meatballs back into the tagine sauce and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan and simmer for 3-5 mins until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny.
  7. Tip the cauliflower salad into a bowl, pour over the dressing and toss with the onion, parsley and almonds. Serve on the side of the tagine.