Tagine of Kefta

My first experience with Moroccan food was a trip several years ago with my mother, sister, and sister-in-law to Walt Disney World. We were in Epcot that day and while my little sister and sister-in-law decided to hit up the attraction, Test Track,  my mother and I took a stroll around World Showcase. By the time we realized we were hungry we were standing in front of the Moroccan pavilion’s Tangierine Cafe. The menu looked good so we ended up eating some great food that day. A couple years later, on another trip, I tried out the sit-down place there, Marrakesh, and again was pleasantly surprised. I even bought the Moroccan cookbook, but alas, have never used it.

I have no idea what inspired me to want to make Kefta recently. Kefta is a Middle Eastern meatball with herbs and spices usually served in a tomato sauce. I suppose I wanted something different and new and there’s only so much you can do with ground beef before getting bored. As I started thumbing through my cookbooks, I remembered eating Kefta at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival last year and really enjoying it. I immediately grabbed that Moroccan cookbook I purchased years ago, but it wasn’t in there! A quick search on the web and there it was.

Now, the flavors are different…If you are expecting a typical Italian-style meatball in tomato sauce, that’s not what you’ll find. I would attribute it to the coriander and cumin. I love it though. It’s definitely a change from meatloaf and burgers. I added a can of diced tomatoes to this to create more of a sauce and served it with green beans and Israeli couscous. Granted, I’m sure this is a dumbed-down version of a real Moroccan Tagine with Kefta, but nonetheless, still yummy.

Overall rating – 4 stars

1 lb Ground beef
1   md Onion, finely chopped
½   bn Coriander, chopped
½   bn Parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon White pepper
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Paprika
½ cup Tomato paste
½ cup Chopped onion
1   md Tomato, diced
½ tablespoon Garlic
½ tablespoon Cumin
½ tablespoon Salt
½ tablespoon White pepper
½   bn Parsley, chopped
1   bn Coriander
2 ounces Olive oil

Combine beef, onion, corinader, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
Roll into meatballs. Brown and boil in shermula sauce until done. For
shermula sauce, combine remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce
sauce until it reaches desired thickness.
Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #323

Recipe by: Morocco




  1. Nick said

    Nice recipe, I love Moroccan food the few times I’ve had it. I love cumin so this looks like a great dish. I would certainly recommend people to not serve it over spaghetti as it’s probably not meant to go with that like Italian style meat balls are.

    By the way, it’s a little confusing from the directions, but I assume that the shermula sauce is everything below and including tomato paste?

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  2. Heading to Disney today as a matter of fact. We may even make it to Epcot so maybe I’ll get to try Mickey’s version of Kefta. This looks like a great idea of plain old ground beef. Thanks. Would you believe my kids hate regular spaghetti and meatballs? Maybe if Mickey serves Kefta they’ll try it? who knows.

  3. foodiedani said


    The shermula sauce is from the paste down. Looking back over the recipe, I agree, it’s not written clearly.

    Feel free to pick my brain for anything Disney-related. I’m a self-declared expert on the place. Go every year. Unfortuately, the kefta is only served at the Food & Wine Festival in the Fall. And I can’t believe your kids do not like spaghetti and meatballs!?!?


  4. That looks really good! I love coucous so anytime I can work it into a meal is a good thing. Plus, it would be nice to have another way to use ground beef. 🙂

  5. foodiedani said

    Hey BC&B,

    Thanks! All couscous is good couscous. But I particularly love Israeli couscous. Any new, healthy ways for ground beef (or ground turkey) are always appreciated in my book.


  6. melissa said

    looks like a wonderful departure from the norm dani. it’s like I can smell it.

  7. foodiedani said

    Hey Melissa,

    The smells from this dish were fantastic! Not a Cooking Light recipe, but still not that bad for you!


  8. sambycat said

    mmmm, interesting! glad there isn’t any cinnamon in there (or did i miss it???) – i hate that – savory with cinnamon. ick!

  9. foodiedani said

    Hey Lisa,

    No cinnamon.

    Ok, this is going to sound weird but have you ever had this at Marrakesh?

    Beef Brewat Rolls – layers of thin pastry stuffed with seasoned minced beef, fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar

    I have and I actually liked it.


  10. sambycat said

    every time i see this title on my dashboard, i feel like it should some kind of star wars character or sumpin’. 🙂

  11. foodiedani said

    ha! lisa you silly girl!


  12. […] and Greens from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Maria’s Mexican Tuna from Art and Aioli, Tagine of Kefta from The Average Cook, Pui Lentils with Bacon and Mushrooms from The Bacon Show, Slow Cooker Pulled […]

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