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overhead shot of lamb tajine with pomegranate seeds and apricots in a brown bowl

Lamb Tajine with Pomegranate & Apricots

Lamb Tagine, a hearty Moroccan stew incorporates savory and sweet ingredients to make a complex slow cooked comfort food dish with a richly spiced sauce. Here, dried apricots, cinnamon and nutmeg provide the sweetness, while lamb, turmeric, tomato paste and a bright garnish of herbs and pomegranate juice make it deeply savory. If you do not have a tagine, use a Dutch oven or a different large pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Morocco
Keyword lamb tajine recipe, Moroccan lamb stew, tajine with lamb
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 400 kcal


  • 750 g lamb shoulder cut into rough cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500 ml of pomegranate juice or diluted molasses
  • 250 ml lamb stock or game stock
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 / 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp harissa more if you like it hot
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 carrot cubed
  • 10 dried apricots or dates
  • 100 g pistachios
  • 1 pomegranate for decoration
  • 1 can of chickpeas drained
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh mint or parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First, you season the lamb with kosher salt and let it rest for at least an hour. This is important! Then, before browning it, make sure to pat the pieces of lamb shoulder dry. If you skip this, the salt will pull water out of the meat, into the pan, and the meat will boil instead of brown and caramelize. 

  2. Sear the lamb in portions on high heat in a pot or Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of oil from all sides until nicely browned, and transfer into a bowl. Roasting aromas are important, so do not crowd the pot and work with high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat and sautee the onions in the same pot for 3 minutes, then briefly fry the garlic and ginger. Stir in tomato paste, fry for 10 seconds and pour in pomegranate juice and stock and add the meat and gathered juices back in. Add the vinegar and all remaining dry spices, as well as Harissa and simmer covered for at least 2-3 hours on a low flame. You can also transfer the pot to the oven, if you make this in a Dutch Oven. Cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil and put the lid on - into the oven for 2 1/2 - 3 h at 325 F.
  4. After about 2 hours add the celery, carrots and the dried fruits as well as chickpeas and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. (If you make this in the oven, you can add it in the beginning and just forget about the whole thing)

  5. Shortly before serving you cut the pomegranate in half and beat the seeds into a bowl. Catch the juice and add it to your tagine.
  6. Finally season the tagine with salt and pepper and sprinkle it with chopped pistachios (optional), the pomegranate seeds and the chopped mint or parsley.

Recipe Notes

Goes well with: couscous or rice.

  • You can make this in a tagine or use a Dutch oven or a different large pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste.
  • Serve with flatbread or couscous, if desired.
  • This dish freezes well and keeps in the fridge for a week. 
  • Tasted amazing sprinkled with pistachios or slivered toasted almonds.