Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Morrocan student food - Kefta Mkaouara

Holly crap, I turn my back and all of a sudden there are MILLIONS of activity on my old dead blog...WTF

Anyway, its awesome. I just did my first dinner here (my friends are all drinkers and lovers not eaters and fighters). Cooked morocain, and im looking forward to cooking more for people here. Man I miss it.

Anyway, this is something that was described to me sitting on the floor of a carpet shop in Morocco as what he used to cook when he was a poor student. In the end I managed to have it for lunch on the side of a oasis in the desert watching arab kids jump from the palm trees into the pool.


Moroccan Meatball Tagine called Kefta Mkaouara or Kefta Mkawra. Well-seasoned meatballs are cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. Eggs are an optional but classic addition to the dish.


----- For the Kefta Meatballs -----
  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped very fine
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika (or 1/8 teaspoon ground hot pepper)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
----- For the Tomato Sauce -----
  • 2 lbs. (about 1 kg) fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ---------------------------------
  • 3 or 4 eggs (optional)

Start Cooking the Tomato Sauce

Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes OR cut the tomatoes in half, seed them and grate them.

Mix the tomatoes, onions (if using) and the rest of the sauce ingredients in the base of a tagine or in a large, deep skillet. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Note: If using a tagine, place a diffuser between the tagine and burner, and allow 10 to 15 minutes for the tomato sauce to reach a simmer.)

Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, just enough heat to maintain the simmer but low enough to avoid scorching. Allow the sauce to cook for 15 to 20 minutes before adding the meatballs.

Make the Kefta Meatballs

Combine all of the kefta ingredients, using your hands to knead in the spices and herbs. Shape the kefta mixture into very small meatballs the size of large cherries – about 3/4 inch in diameter.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, along with a little water – 1/4 cup (60 ml) is usually sufficient – and cover. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.

Break the eggs over the top of the meatballs, and cover. Cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are solid and the yolks are partially set. Serve immediately.

Kefta Mkaouara is traditionally served from the same dish in which it was prepared, with each person using crusty Moroccan bread for scooping up the meatballs from his own side of the dish.


anti ob said...

Hows _this_ for slavish blogfollowing:

You post; I cook. Made this tonight, with the following changes:

Used all the optional bits; why the hell not?
Doubled the garlic, on general principles.
Doubled the chili, because I didn't have a spoon small enough. (An eighth of a teaspoon? What do I look like, a chemist?)
Used canned tomatoes mixed with fresh, because I didn't have enough fresh.
Used fire-roasted canned tomatoes, because they're awesome and the only thing I buy anymore.
Didn't peel or seed my tomatoes, because I'm a lazy git.
Didn't have fresh parsley or cilantro, so I used dried cilantro.
Served over couscous (because its obviously the most correct thing to serve it with, and not at all because we had some left over from last night...)

Results: Very nice, but...

Needed less salt. Possibly the canned tomatoes had too much salt in them.
Needed even more chili, (and the extra garlic they got.)
Optional cinnamon was very nice and I'd definitely use it.
Optional eggs were also nice and I'd keep them too.

Will definitely do again.

Dr Nik said...

he he he, good work my friend.

I basically did a similar thing. My teaspoon broke years ago so I use my "eye spoon" alot.

* Cindamon is brilliant in this, I just chucked a stick in the sauce.
* double the paprica, it gives it a ghoulash type taste
* tin tomatoes or unpealed for the lazy fuckers
* no corriander, dried parsley
* lots of cayan pepper
* no eggs (industrial disagreement with the egg manufacturer because I killed them, stuffed them with apple and roasted them, im not sure we will get over the disagreement they are quite unresponsive at the moment)

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

when I went to Morroco, all the food was freaking bloody YUM, except for the cold okra salad. never again...

I've just come to terms with meatballs in sauce, having previously thought they were devil spawn. I think there's something about actually cooking the mince in the sauce which makes it mighty - what I've experienced before seems to be make meatball, make sauce, bung together and serve. but Ken and Al baked them in the oven with sauce poured over and they were a very fine thing indeed.

so I'm going to have to try this one really soon!