• Couscous has a long history in the region. (Chris Chen)Source: Chris Chen

Morocco has a long history of beekeeping. Tfaya, an accompaniment of honey-spiked caramelised onions, is often added to tagines, but also makes a satisfying meal with just couscous.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (47 votes)


  • 75 g (½ cup) raisins
  • 6 onions, thinly sliced
  • 80 g butter, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp orange-blossom honey (see Note)
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout (see Note)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • ⅛ tsp orange-blossom water (optional, see Note)
  • cooked couscous, to serve


Lamb tagine

  • 1 kg boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp harissa (see Note)
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 400 g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make lamb tagine, cut lamb into 5 cm pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add lamb. Working in batches, cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Add spices, tomato paste and harissa and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return lamb to pan with tomatoes, stock and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours or until lamb is very tender.

Meanwhile, place raisins in a bowl of warm water and soak for 30 minutes or until plump.

Combine onions, butter and 250 ml (1 cup) water in a large saucepan. Cover, bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until onion is tender.

Drain raisins and add to onion with honey and spices. Stirring occasionally, cook uncovered for a further 25 minutes or until onion is golden and liquid has evaporated. Season and stir in orange-blossom water, if using. Serve hot with lamb tagine and couscous.


• Orange-blossom honey is a lightly scented, citrus-flavoured honey. Substitute with any light, fruity honey.
• Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend and is available from select delis and Middle Eastern food shops.
• Orange-blossom water and harissa are available from Middle Eastern food shops.



Photography by Chris Chen. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Styling by Vivien Walsh.


As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.