Lamb tagine with dates & sweet potatoes

Lamb tagine with dates & sweet potatoes

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(50 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs


Serves 10
This is one of those wonderful dishes that improves with keeping

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal646
  • fat32g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre0g
  • protein42g
  • salt0.82g
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  • 6 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 onion, thinly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm chunks



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp each paprika and ground coriander



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 850ml passata
  • 700g sweet potato, cut into chunks
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 350g pitted date



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

To serve

  • 100g blanched almond, toasted
  • good handful coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan. Add the onions, then gently fry until softened, about 5 mins. Stir in the ginger, add the meat in batches, then fry on all sides until lightly coloured. Return all the meat to the pan, stir in the spices and cinnamon sticks, then cook for 1 min.

  2. Add the passata and 800ml water, then bring to the boil, stirring. Season well, then cover and simmer for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is tender.

  3. Add the sweet potatoes, stir well, cover again, then cook for 20 mins or until the potatoes are just tender. Stir in the dates and heat through for 5 mins. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. To serve, spoon the tagine into a serving dish and scatter with the almonds and coriander.

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Comments (68)

shroom's picture

Tried this basic recipe using a tagine and cooked it in the oven. As as a tagine has a lid it helps keep the the meat moist, so recipe required a lot less liquid, half the water and half the passata. I also substituted the dates for dried apricots and added a tsp of Harissa as suggested by another contributor to add a bit of a kick, loved it, will try this again.

cjclare's picture

Ive made this twice now and each time it has gone down a storm. It's best made the day before and heated through. As I like a touch of spice, the second time I made it I added a couple of teaspoons of harissa paste. Yums. recommended ... and its very easy too.

elsieonumonu's picture

I made this for a baby shower and it went down really well. Everybody enjoyed it. I actually added the whole jar of Harissa paste and it gave it extra flavour. I made it the day before and it gave it time for the flavours to settle. I chopped up the dates which disintegrated into the stew but gave it a lovely flavour.

lwilliams82's picture

I made this for 20 women at a hen do and they absolutey loved it! Served it with cous cous and salad, all it needed. Will try it with harissa next time as it would be even nicer with a bit of a kick.

childrenscook's picture

Great recipe. Very well received by all. Advise: Chop the the dates into little pieces. You will get all the sweetness without the rough texture. Also omit the almonds or grind them for children. Remember top chefs cut corners and vary this recipe e.g. ground ginger and coriander ,some add turmeric, allspice , rose petals etc. Do whats convenient to you!!!!!!!!

childrenscook's picture

Great recipe. Very well received by all. Advise: Chop the the dates into little pieces. You will get all the sweetness without the rough texture. Also omit the almonds or grind them for children. Remember top chefs cut corners and vary this recipe e.g. ground ginger and coriander ,some add turmeric, allspice , rose petals etc. Do whats convenient to you!!!!!!!!

chedges's picture

Delicious will definitely make again. Use half the amount of dates though.

evelynjcooper's picture

This recipe was quick and easy and tasted very good. I will definitely do it again.

nikkisherman's picture

Help please...can i make this the night before and instead of freezing the dish after step for put it in the fridge? I dont have time after work to oven cook the dish for 1half hours so am trying to think of alternatives?? thank you!!

jburton's picture

There is no reason you couldn't substitute Beef for lamb. I often do this when making a Tagine and it always turns out lovely. It also saves on the pennies when the lamb is a bit on the pricey side. I also believe in long slow cooking when it comes to a Tagine, so the meat becomes meltingly tender.

mjsykes100's picture

Do you think this would work ok with beef? Or any suggestions for a similar dish with beef?

joannalc's picture

Absolutlely delicious and foolproof recipe. Similar to other users, I did add 2 generous tsps of harissa paste, but other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. Don't be put off from using dates, they really were wonderful and all my guests loved it.

alison_davidson's picture

Now a firm favourite in our house and I wheel it out when feeding a crowd or half it for when I have a couple extra for dinner. Made it for my mother she loved it and took the recipe and then she made it for her neighbours and they loved it and took the recipe, so definitely a keeper.
I too have used apricots instead of dates and lamb leg rather than shoulder when I couldn't get it. I have also used a small amount of ground cinnamon when I ran out of cinnamon sticks. Still kust as delicious.

cawpeanut's picture

Tried this for family coming around for Fathers Day. It was brilliant! As per some other cooks comments I used apricots but will be trying again very soon using dates as per the original recipe and will try adding the hassina paste that others have tried. Made this with rice and everyone came back for seconds. amb shoulder is also reasonably priced so another bonus!

vrog's picture

Made for the England v Algeria World cup game - a much more interesting result than the football! Loved it. Used half quantities which was plenty for 5.

clarel's picture

This was very tasty. Problem with boneless shoulder of lamb is it comes ready to roast if you buy from the supermarket packaged up and it was difficult to cut into decent chunks for this. I would use a different cut of meat next time.

tberesnevich's picture

TO CDC. I halved meat, left sweet potatoes as written and cut the rest a little bit (you need enough liquid to cover sweet potatoes) and it worked fine. I also served it with frozen green beans in addition to couscous because my husband likes it with lots of vegetables. It was very tasty and colorful dish

cdcarbonell's picture

I have a question - would it be possible to halve the quanity of meat and leave the rest of the ingredients as writtten? I want to make it a bit healthier, and slightly more economical. I would rather get better quality meat, but less of it! Thanks

holmfirth's picture

what a delicious dish, try using west indian sweet potatoes, they;re more solid and don;t go all mushy like the orange ones, they also have a lovely chestnutty flavour,mmmmmmm really yummy, lol.

captains69's picture

Make this for a dinner party for 8 (reduced the amount of lamb), everyone enjoyed it, served with cous cous and a green salad and there was nothing left. Very simple to make, although took me a little longer than 30 mins to prepare, probably because I used chops and had to cut the meat off the bones. I cooked it in the slow cooker - initially on high but then turned it down as it was cooking so well. Made the mistake of adding the sweet pots far too early and by the time I dished up, they had more or less disintegrated. Will remember to put them in about an hour before I dish up.


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