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Moroccan Meatballs

Kefta (Moroccan Meatballs)

A recipe for Kefta (Moroccan Meatballs)
Course Main
Cuisine Moroccan
Keyword Africa, African, beef, kefta, lamb, meat, meatball, Moroccan, Morocco
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 20 Meatballs


  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 small onion minced or grated
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • pinch chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated
  • 1 3/4 pounds roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Sliced almonds


  • In a medium bowl, mix together ground meet, onion, garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and cinnamon. If desired, cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes to let flavors blend. Form the meat into small meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches across.
  • Crush the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. Mix in chili flakes.
  • Heat a large pan over medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Fry the meatballs in batches until browned on all sides. Remove from pan with slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.
  • Decrease heat to medium and fry crushed spices for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Mix in the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until tomatoes start to break down. Gently add meatballs and continue to simmer until the meatballs are heated through and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  • Garnish as desired and serve immediately with couscous.