Tagine of lamb with chickpeas, apricots, saffron & honey

Tagine of lamb with chickpeas, apricots, saffron & honey

30 mins
Cooking time
90 mins
Deidre Rooney

Chickpeas are the main pulse used in Moroccan cookery but you can use other beans here such as haricot or cannellini. This dish combines a delicious blend of sweet and savoury flavours imbued with saffron.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
80ml olive oil
15g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g dried apricots
50g dried barberries or sour cherries
800ml lamb or chicken stock or water
saffron threads, dissolved in 50 ml hot water
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 tablespoons runny honey
2 teaspoons orange-blossom water, (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts or toasted almonds

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley or mint
2 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander leaves
lemon, (optional)

From the butcher

Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into large chunks


  1. Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a high heat and brown the lamb on all sides, working in batches. Remove the meat from the pan as it browns and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and stir well in the meat juices. Cook over a low heat until the onions have softened a little, then add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Throw in the apricots, berries, stock and saffron in its water. Bring to the boil. Add the lamb plus any juices that have run out of it. Reduce the heat to very low and leave to cook, covered, for 1 hour 30 minutes–2 hours, stirring from time to time.
  3. When the lamb has been cooking for 1 hour stir in the chickpeas. Cook for 30 minutes and then stir in the honey. Check to see whether the lamb needs further cooking – it needs to be completely tender. When the lamb is done, add the herbs, orange-blossom water (if using) and lemon juice (if using). Check for seasoning and flavour – you might want to add a little more honey. Sprinkle with the nuts and serve.
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