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Lamb Tagine With Potatoes and Peas (L'Ham Bel B'Tata Wa Jeblana)

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Photo by Kristin Perers

Tagines are typical street food in Morocco, and this is the one that is most commonly found, except that street vendors cut the potatoes into small dice and I prefer to use new potatoes, which I leave whole if they are very small or halve if they are medium. I also use frozen petits pois, which I blanch in boiling water and then add to the tagine at the very end so that they stay a bright green color.


4–6 servings

4 lamb shanks (3 pounds 5 ounces/1.5 kg total)
2 medium onions (10 1/2 ounces/300 g total), halved and cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
Good pinch of saffron threads
Sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley (2 ounces/50 g), most of the bottom stems discarded, finely chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro (2 ounces/50 g), most of the bottom stems discarded, finely chopped
1 pound 2 ounces (500 g) new potatoes, scrubbed clean and left whole if very small or halved if medium
9 ounces (250 g) fresh or thawed frozen petits pois (see Note)
Moroccan bread, for serving

Step 1

Put the shanks, onions, garlic, spices, and a little salt into a large pot. Add water to barely cover, about 4 cups (1 liter) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the shanks over in the sauce and cook for another 15 minutes. Turn the meat again and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the meat is tender. If the shanks are not tender after an hour, cook for 15 to 30 minutes longer, adding a little more water.

Step 2

When the meat is tender, add the herbs (reserving a little cilantro for garnish) and potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just done. Add the peas and cook uncovered for another few minutes, until the peas are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the sauce is still runny, let it bubble hard uncovered until the sauce has thickened.

Step 3

Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving dish. Garnish with the reserved cilantro and serve very hot with Moroccan bread.


Quick-thaw the frozen petits pois by plunging them into boiling water.

How would you rate Lamb Tagine With Potatoes and Peas (L'Ham Bel B'Tata Wa Jeblana)?

  • I agree with another reviewer - ditch the oil. I used 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, browned the shanks for about 8 minutes and removed from pot. Bloomed the spices in the pot until fragrant and then added the onions and garlic and stir it up. Return the shanks back to the pot and add water and salt. I brought to a simmer, covered and then cooked in a 325 degree oven and followed the recommended process. A mildly flavored dish.

    • gramar19394010

    • California

    • 4/17/2021

  • Way too oily for me. I found it to be bland and lacking in texture. The recipe would benefit from some kind of grain accompaniment or mash potato to help absorb the liquid. I would reduce the oil content by half and play around with seasonings.

    • Anonymous

    • Toronto, Canada

    • 11/17/2018

  • Followed the recipe exactly as written, it was very easy to make and extremely delicious. I think next time I will omit the saffron, because I didn't feel its presence in the dish. Nonetheless, an outstanding dish.

    • Anonymous

    • Canada

    • 11/5/2018