Morocco has a very long history of beekeeping and is a major honey producer in the Middle East.

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

Note - Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend and is available along with orange-blossom water and harissa from Middle Eastern food shops and selected supermarkets.

Cook time
2 hrs 20 mins

Prep time
20 mins


Recipe provided by: Alice Storey

  • For the fragrant onions (Tfiya): 75g of raisins
  • 6 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 80g of butter, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Haughton Honey
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of Ras el hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 1/8 teaspoon of orange-blossom water
  • For the lamb tagine: 1kg of boneless lamb or hogget shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of harissa
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml of chicken stock
  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Notes for the cook

If you have a fan-assisted oven then reduce the specified temperature in the recipe by about 15%.

1 teaspoon = 5ml

1 tablespoon = 15ml.

Some ingredients are measured in cups and some equivalents are;

150g, 6oz (1/2 cup) = 120ml, 4fl oz.

  1. To make the lamb tagine, cut the lamb into 5 cm pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the lamb. Working in batches, cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside whilst keeping warm.
  2. Add the onion to pan and stir for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the spices, tomato paste and harissa and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return the lamb to pan with tomatoes, stock and the chickpeas. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours or until the lamb is very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, place raisins in a bowl of warm water and soak for 30 minutes or until plump.
  4. Combine the six onions, butter and 250 ml (1 cup) of water in a large saucepan. Cover, bring to a simmer over a medium heat and then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the onion is tender.
  5. Drain the raisins and add to the onion with the 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.
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