Lamb, spinach and kumquat tagine

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Meat mains

Lamb, spinach and kumquat tagine

Serves 3 1h 40 min
Kumquats have a sweet-sharp citrussy taste and can be eaten raw (whole) or cooked. In this tagine-style dish they ape the flavour of preserved lemons, cutting through the richness of the lamb. Kumquat seeds can add a little bitterness, so once you've sliced them it's best to remove as many of them as you have time or inclination to.


  • 350g diced lamb leg
  • oil for frying
  • 1 large or 2 small onions (red or white), peeled and finely sliced
  • 100g kumquats, halved lengthways, seeds removed, then finely sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3-4cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of chilli flakes, or ½ tbsp harissa (optional, for a little heat)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken or good veg stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50g dried apricots, dates or figs, chopped
  • 200g baby or true spinach, leaves stripped from any tough stalks
  • small handful fresh mint, leaves shredded
  • small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Season the lamb. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide flameproof casserole. Fry the lamb to brown it, then transfer to a plate.
  • Step 2

    Add the onion and almost all the kumquats to the same pan (saving just a few shreds for a garnish), with a splash more oil. Gently fry for 10 mins, until softened.
  • Step 3

    Add the garlic, ginger, spices and chilli or harissa if using. Stir for 1 min.
  • Step 4

    Add the lamb, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, stock, honey and dried fruit. Season.
  • Step 5

    Bring the pan up to a low simmering boil, partly cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the liquid level and top up with a splash of extra water if needed, depending on your pan size.
  • Step 6

    Check the lamb is tender; it's a lean meat so you don't want to overcook it, but it may need a tad longer - 10-20 mins should be plenty. Stir in the spinach until wilted.
  • Step 7

    Stir in most of the fresh herbs. Check the seasoning and serve sprinkled with the remaining herbs and kumquat shreds.

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