Kefta Mahchiya

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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Dishes
Servings 6
Calories 599 kcal


Calories: 599 kcalCarbohydrates: 86 gProtein: 41 gFat: 39 gSaturated Fat: 22 gCholesterol: 149 mgSodium: 962 mgFiber: 21 gSugar: 41 gVitamin A: 8.575 IUCalcium: 152 mgIron: 22 mg


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 whole onions about 2 pounds, thinly sliced
  • 1 whole tomato peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp Ras El Hanout spice blend
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 oz saffron thread toasted and crushed about 10 threads
  • 1 oz whole cloves 5 cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 1 pinch pepper to taste
  • 1 cup seedless raisins plumped in warm water and drained or 1 cup mixed chopped dried fruits
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 lb twice ground beef sirloin
  • 1 whole small onion grated
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp Ras El Hanout spice blend
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon for garnish
  • 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds toasted


  • To make the sauce: In a medium Dutch oven or enameled casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the onions, tomato, ras el hanout, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, cloves, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens somewhat, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Add the raisins or dried fruit and honey. Lower the heat to a simmer.
  • To make the kefta: Mix the ground sirloin and grated onion. In a large bowl, combine the meat, bread crumbs, 1 lightly beaten egg, ras el hanout, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Mix well, using your hands. Let stand 10 minutes.
  • To cook the rice: In a medium saucepan, bring the water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the rice in a slow stream and cover. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered.
  • In a small saucepan of slowly boiling water, cook the 2 remaining eggs for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of cold water to cool for 10 to 20 minutes. Shell the eggs and cut each one into 6 wedges. Set aside.
  • To assemble the kefta: Using the fingers of one hand, flatten 2 tablespoons of ground meat in the palm of the opposite hand to form a thin patty about 3 inches in diameter. Place a wedge of egg in the center. Fold the meat around the egg and seal the edges. Set aside on a platter. Continue until all the meat is used.
  • Set the egg-filled kefta in the simmering onion sauce. Do not stir. Cover and simmer until the meat is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Fill a small bowl with the cooked rice and invert it in a mound in the center of a large circular platter. Decorate the rice with cinnamon, creating stripes that run from the center to the base like the spokes of a wheel. Garnish the rice with toasted almonds. Arrange the kefta around the base of the rice and cover them with the onion sauce. Serve immediately.
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