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Moroccan Tajine of Lamb with Dried Plums Recipe

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Moroccan Tajine of Lamb with Dried Plums Recipe: A Culinary Journey

Moroccan cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, aromatic spices, and vibrant presentation. Among its most beloved dishes is the Moroccan Tajine of Lamb with Dried Plums, a delightful blend of tender lamb, sweet plums, and a medley of spices. This traditional dish not only tantalizes the taste buds but also offers a glimpse into Morocco’s cultural heritage. Here’s a unique recipe and guide to making this exquisite Moroccan delicacy at home.


To prepare a Moroccan Tajine of Lamb with Dried Plums, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Lamb Marinade:

  • 2 pounds (900 grams) of lamb shoulder or leg, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

For the Tajine:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dried plums (prunes), pitted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


Marinating the Lamb

  1. Combine the Spices and Olive Oil: In a large bowl, mix all the spices with the olive oil to create a marinade.
  2. Marinate the Lamb: Add the lamb chunks to the bowl, ensuring each piece is well-coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.

Cooking the Tajine

  1. Prepare the Tajine or Dutch Oven: If using a traditional clay tajine, preheat it slowly over low heat. If using a Dutch oven, heat it over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the Onions and Garlic: Add olive oil to the tajine or Dutch oven. Once hot, add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
  3. Brown the Lamb: Add the marinated lamb chunks to the pot and brown them on all sides. This helps to seal in the flavors and gives the meat a rich color.
  4. Add Liquids and Cinnamon Stick: Pour in the chicken or beef broth and water. Add the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Simmer the Lamb: Cover the pot and let it simmer gently for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender and cooked through. Check occasionally to ensure there is enough liquid, adding more water if necessary.

Preparing the Dried Plums

  1. Simmer the Plums: In a small saucepan, combine the dried plums with a little water and honey. Simmer over low heat until the plums are plump and tender, and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  2. Add to the Tajine: Once the lamb is tender, add the prepared plums and their sauce to the tajine. Stir gently to combine.

Finishing Touches

  1. Toast the Almonds and Sesame Seeds: In a dry skillet, toast the blanched almonds and sesame seeds until golden brown.
  2. Garnish the Tajine: Just before serving, sprinkle the toasted almonds and sesame seeds over the tajine. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Moroccan Tajine of Lamb with Dried Plums is traditionally served with couscous, which soaks up the flavorful sauce. Alternatively, it can be accompanied by warm, crusty bread. A simple green salad with a light lemon vinaigrette pairs beautifully with the rich and sweet flavors of the tajine.


The Moroccan Tajine of Lamb with Dried Plums is a dish that encapsulates the essence of Moroccan cuisine – aromatic, flavorful, and deeply satisfying. This recipe provides a step-by-step guide to creating a dish that is not only a feast for the palate but also a cultural experience. Whether you’re preparing it for a special occasion or as a comforting family meal, this tajine is sure to impress and delight. Enjoy the culinary journey to Morocco from the comfort of your kitchen!

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