Make a Moroccan lamb tagine

Tagines are as Moroccan as mint tea and kasbahs. The stew is a flavoursome casserole, slow-cooked in myriad exotic spices, giving off a luscious aroma. The dish in which it’s cooked, also called a tagine, is available at kitchenware shops. This recipe is from a cooking course in the beach town of Essaouira.

What you need: 200g lamb, diced; 2 tbsp olive oil; 50g raw almonds; 1 onion, finely chopped; 5 pitted dates; 1 tsp ginger; 1 tsp turmeric; pinch of saffron; stick cinnamon; 1 tsp ground cinnamon; 2 tbsp sugar; pinch allspice; a pinch Arabic gum; 1 tbsp orange blossom water; vegetable oil

The work: Put the diced lamb into the tagine dish and add the onion, ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick and olive oil. Mix well.
Cook the tagine on medium heat for 20 mins to sear the meat. You will need to place a thin metal plate underneath the tagine to stop the dish from cracking. Stir the lamb at regular intervals to ensure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick. After you’ve seared the meat, let it steam for 1 hour and 15 mins. Add a little water if it looks dry.
While the tagine is cooking, put the almonds into a pan of boiling water for 5 mins, then take them out and remove their skins. Fry the almonds for 5 mins in vegetable oil.
Steam the dates for 15 mins, and stuff each with almonds.
Put the cinnamon, Arabic gum, orange blossom water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then add the dates and let them caramelise.
Once the meat is cooked, place the dates on top of the tagine.