Angie Creaven’s Moroccan lamb tagine

Well-known Eastern Cape chef Angie Creaven, of Angie’s Cuisine, shares one of her winter favourites with us today – a superb recipe for Moroccan lamb tagine. The complete recipe in printable form is also below, plus scroll down for a “10 Questions” interview with Angie. The pictures in the slide show at the end of the video are by Weekend Post reporter Yolande Stander, who recently spent her honeymoon in Morocco.

Moroccan lamb tagine with dates: The recipe

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Angie’s tagine – made with dates and honey – is a wonderful fusion of flavours, and the lamb turned out incredibly tender. This dish is seriously more-ish – and really is far easier to make than I’d always supposed!


1.2kg lamb knuckles OR 1 leg of lamb of the same weight and cut into cubes; 1 onion, finely chopped ; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 2 tbsp olive oil; half tsp chopped fresh red chilli; 1 tsp finely grated ginger; 1 tsp ground cumin; half tsp paprika; 3 to 4 large tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped; 1 cup roughly chopped coriander; half a cup of dates; 3 to 4 tsp honey.


Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and seal the lamb in batches. Transfer to a tagine or overnproof dish.
Place the finely chopped onion in the same pan and saute for a minute or two.
Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, cumin and paprika to the onion and fry these off.  Transfer to the meat dish, add the tomatoes and scatter with roughly chopped coriander.
Place the lid on the dish or seal properly with foil; place it in a preheated oven (180C) for about an hour. Turn the oven down to 160C and leave the tagine to simmer slowly for another hour, or until the meat is tender (cooking time will depend on your choice of meat).
Place the dates and the honey in a small frying pan and cover with a quarter cup of water. Bring to simmering point and simmer for 4-5 minutes.  Turn the oven up to 200C.  Add the honey and dates to the lamb, pouring over the surface (do not stir) and return the dish to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with couscous seasoned with fresh coriander and whole roasted almonds.

10 Questions: Angie Creaven of Angie’s Cuisine

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Angie Creaven is known for her popular cooking classes and high standard of private catering in the Bay. This cordon bleu trained chef attended an international cooking school in the UK after matriculating at Grahamstown’s DSG. She made such an impression at the Constance Spry (where she did the same course as Delia Smith) in Berkshire that the elite Angela Edey catering company head-hunted her to work for them. Awesome projects followed; Angie even catered for Garter day at Windsor Castle, where she got to meet the Queen Mother and Prince Charles. Once back in South Africa, career highlights include being asked to join the Southern Sun group to run one of their five-star restaurants, as well as establishing Angie’s Cuisine following her return to Port Elizabeth in 2001. 


1) When and how did your love of cooking begin?
My interest in cooking began when I was about five years old. We lived on a farm WHERE and my mother’s kitchen was always a hive of activity. I started taking over from her and she eventually backed off and had a little box made for me at the stove so I could reach it! By school-going age I was cooking meals for our family.
2) Has there been a shift in Eastern Cape / South African folks’ interest in all things culinary in recent years; if so, what do you accredit this to?
We have definitely become more interested in the culinary field in recent years and have latched on to the Foodie-Fashion world really well – our Cape Town restaurants are right up there! I think television has played a huge role in this, as well as the fact that the ingredients have become more readily available. However, we still have a way to go here, especially in PE!
3) What sort of food do people want to learn to make when they first inquire about your cooking demonstrations?
People who inquire about my cooking classes generally want to learn how to put together a really good meal which is simple to assemble but has a little bit of a wow factor and tastes amazing. We do not taste our food enough and therefore it is usually not well seasoned.
4) Private catering has really grown in popularity in recent years. What sort of menus do people want and is it difficult to persuade them to try something new and different?
Clients employing a caterer want to have utmost confidence in who they use. Once this is established they are usually happy to take your advice and try new dishes.
5) Your Table No 19 concept is proving extremely popular. When did you introduce it, how often do you host these evenings and why do you think people enjoy them so much?
Table No 19 was introduced in October last year and is a home from home venue/restaurant where our customers have access to the entire venue, including the kitchen! It is mainly used as a private function facility for 12 to 30 people. We have dinner parties, birthday celebrations, christenings and so on – we’ve even hosted a small wedding! Caterer and venue come together with no venue fee and Table No. 19’s goal is to create a very relaxed, homely atmosphere. We host monthly “open” evenings which we hope will become weekly – when we’re not privately booked.
6) I’m sure you’re always on the lookout for interesting ingredients and kitchen aids. What have you come across recently that foodies can get excited about?
Most ingredients are available in Port Elizabeth – many people just don’t realise this. Unfortunately, these do come at a cost. I’m not a huge gadget person because I find most gadgets don’t last and are too “gimmicky” for me. Rather wait and see if they last on the market before buying things that clutter your kitchen.
7) Does travelling inspire you when it comes to food, and which countries are home to your favourite flavours?
I haven’t done a lot of travelling lately but when I do, my eyes are everywhere! I do, however, make sure I keep up with the latest food trends via wonderful friends who are scattered all over the world. I am cordon bleu trained, but my culinary interests vary: Italian is wonderful for its simplicity; Thai for its freshness and healthy way of cooking and Moroccan for its complex and interesting combinations.
08) Which five ingredients would one always encounter in your kitchen arsenal?
There are so many… but I’m never, never without fresh garlic, fresh herbs, fresh ginger, fresh parmesan and fresh tomatoes.
9) Which kitchen tool or piece of equipment is your current favourite?
My blender and my mandolin.
10) When you cook for your own family at home, what sort of dishes are mostly on the menu?
My daughter and I do a lot of experimenting, especially after the 3am ideas that come to me! We have come up with a lot of our own recipes, which is always exciting. We try these on a Sunday because during the week we try to be as healthy as possible!
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6 Responses to Angie Creaven’s Moroccan lamb tagine

  1. Julio says:

    Only in Morocco the lamb have so much flavours, infinite spices, dates … definitively genial !

  2. Yolandé says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I was in Morocco recently and really enjoyed the food. The Moroccans really know how to cook!

  3. Yolandé says:

    I tried the Moroccan lamb tagine this weekend…oh my word…the aroma took me back to Morocco again. It is such a delicious meal and the flavours are amazing.

  4. Dorathea Beets says:

    Looks wwonderful. My father in law bought 2 tagines when he went overseas. He has since passed away. WHERE can I buy some? Please help. Thanx

    • globaltable says:

      Hi Dorathea. A friend got ours from @ Home in Port Elizabeth earlier this year – but I’ve no idea if they still stock them! I will check with Angie Creaven if she has seen them anywhere recently. A tagine is not essential but of course it does add an authentic touch. The alternative is to use any clay dish that you can seal up tightly for when it goes into the oven, even if it means a couple of layers of foil! Can any of our readers help?

  5. D Fourie says:

    Boardmans at Walmer Park had tagine dishes in stock on Thursday 5/11/2009.

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