Moroccan Meat Ball Tagine with Quinoa or Couscous

Moroccan MeatballsAccording to Rabbi Tzvi Rosen, Star-K Kashrus Administrator, quinoa is kosher for Passover. It is not related to the five species of grain listed in the Bible nor to millet or rice and it grows in harsh climates where no other grains can exist. It is a member of the “goose foot” family which includes beets and spinach. Quinoa is a perfect substitute for couscous for Passover and it is nutritionally superior to any grain on earth.


1 ½ pounds ground beef
½ medium onion, grated
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg
1/3 cup matzo meal
½ cup tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
5 onions, thinly sliced
1 quart water
½ cup dark raisins
8 soft pitted prunes
½ cup slivered almonds
2 pounds pumpkin or Hubbard OR Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation Instructions

1. Place the meat in a 2 quart mixing bowl and add the onion, parsley, egg, bread crumbs, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Mix the mixture well and set aside until ready to make the meatballs.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven and then add the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sauté the onions in the oil until golden brown.

3. Add the water to the onions and bring to a boil.

4. Shape the meat into walnut sized balls and drop into the simmering liquid. Cook the balls until firm.

5. Combine the raisins and the prunes in a small glass dish and cover with water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes and let sit while the meatballs cook.

6. When the meat is firm, transfer the meat to a 13 x 9 casserole.

7. Drain the fruits and add them to the casserole along with the almonds and pumpkin.

8. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the food and bake in a pre-heated 350F oven until the squash is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve with couscous or quinoa for Passover.


1 ½ cups water or chicken broth
1 Tablespoon margarine or butter
1 cup couscous or quinoa

1. Bring liquid and margarine to a boil in a 1 quart saucepan.

2. Add the couscous and stir to combine. Immediately cover and turn off the heat.

3. Allow the couscous to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and place in the middle of a large serving platter with the meat and vegetables around it or serve from a bowl for all to take.

Note: For Quinoa, rinse quinoa in cold water twice before using (to remove bitterness of outer hull), cook covered, over low heat for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

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