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Kefta Mkaouara (1 of 2)

Kefta Mkaouara (Mkawra) is a Moroccan dish traditionally made in a tagine. Small beef or lamb meatballs are simmered in a spiced tomato sauce, then eggs are added in the last few minutes of cooking. It is served from the same dish it is cooked in with crusty Moroccan bread. I used this Khubz Maghrebi recipe for the bread. Definitely don’t skip the eggs. It adds to the overall flavor of the dish. Chad said this was even better the next day.

kefta mkaouara

Kefta Mkaouara (7 of 7)A Tagine is a Berber pot often used in North African cooking. It is traditionally made of clay, but sometimes ceramic tagines were used following Roman influence. The bottom part is circular with a flat base. The cover is dome-shaped to keep condensation at the bottom during cooking so less water is needed.

If you don’t have a tagine, you can use a deep skillet with a tight fitting lid, but more water may need to be added to the dish.

Kefta Mkaouara (2 of 2)



  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb or combination
  • 1/2 onion grated
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Olive oil or ghee for pan
  • 1 onion thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 4 eggs


  • In a medium bowl, combine ground meat, grated onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, hot paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, and cilantro. Use your hands to roll the mixture into 3/4 inch round meatballs.
  • Drizzle olive oil or ghee over bottom of tagine or deep skillet with tight fitting lid over medium heat. A diffuser is needed for clay tagines. Add the sliced onion and cook until soft. Sprinkle with minced garlic and place meatballs in a mostly single layer over onions. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until brown on sides.
  • Pour in enough tomatoes to mostly cover the meatballs. Add the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, hot paprika, and gently stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover, crack eggs into separate areas among the meatballs, and sprinkle with parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Cover again and cook until eggs are barely set, 7-10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately from tagine with crusty bread.

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