Lamb Date and Saffron Tagine

Inspired by the fabulous date palms that grow along the Dra Valley in Southern Morocco, this rich lamb date and saffron tagine is so fragrant and lightly sweetened by the sticky dates that mellow in the sauce. I like to reduce the sauce so that it’s really thick and packs a huge flavour punch. You can serve this with couscous but I love it with brown rice that’s been flecked with masses of fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds.


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until golden. Chuck in the garlic and mix well.
  2. Put the meat into the pan and add the ras el hanout, ground ginger, saffron, stock and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 hours or until the meat is just tender.
  3. Remove the lid and bring the sauce to a boil over a medium heat. Add the dates and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is really thick. Scatter over the coriander and serve immediately.


Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
650g boneless shoulder of lamb, cut into 3-4 inch pieces
1 ½ tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of saffron
500ml hot lamb stock
6 dates, stoned and ripped in half
A small handful of chopped coriander
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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