So I know the title of this recipe is a bit of an oxymoron; Moroccan & Kugel just don’t normally go hand in hand!
But this dish sums me up in a nut shell – Half Moroccan/Half Polish-Hungarian with very deep roots in both Sefardi & Ashknazi customs.
A very mix breed as we say & since Margalit did not have a name for it I decided to come up with this one (I take all the credit!)
When it comes to cooking though, I am definitely more influenced by the French Moroccan side, but since I married a full blooded Polish Ashkanzi -
I find myself trying to adapt a fewof his favorites into my menu.
This dish is Pure Moroccan, but with the sweet carrots and by me calling it a KUGEL – what more can he ask for!
And for those of you snickering as you read – I looked it up Kugel means casserole and this dish certainly qualifies!!
I first had this dish at my good friend and KS Home Decor Expert – Interior Designer Extraordinaire – Margalit Lankry’s house ( now with the school year started she will be posting something very soon and it is terrific!)
Besides it’s beautiful presentation with those 3 gorgeous layers of sweet carrots, ground lamb and rice, it was so delicious, my husband had to kick me under the table and make google eyes to get me to stop hogging the dish!
This “kugel” is the perfect side dish to make on Rosh Hashanah or for that matter any Shabbat or Yom Tov Meal.
If you want to really impress you can even make small round individuals and serve them plated next to some delicious roasted chicken or as an appetizer to start your day meal.
Margalit always makes this dish in a round tin – I make it in what ever tin I happen to have in my cabinets.
Moroccan Tzimmos, Lamb & Rice Kugel
Tip: if you can not find lamb – any ground beef will be a terrific substitute.
For the Tzimmos:
2 1/2 cups of cut baby carrots
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup pure molasses
1 tsp. black pepper
For the Lamb:
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. all spice
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. dried mint leaves
1 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt & black pepper to taste
For Rice Layer:
2 cups cooked rice
Cut carrots into thin circle slices. (I use baby carrots to help save time and get pretty uniformed slices)
On med-high heat, cook the cut carrots in the juice, molasses, honey and pepper.
Constantly mix with a rubber spatula until juice has totally cooked down and your carrots are soft and and caramelized.
For the Lamb Layer: In a skillet on med-high heat, saute the lam in the olive oil.
Add all the spices and used the en of your wooden spoon to break up the meat until they are pea size pieces.
Let the lamb cook for about 8-10 minute.
To assemble the Moroccan Kugel:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Tip: The key to making this Kugel is to make sure that you really PACK THE LAYERS!
In an 8 inch round aluminum tin that has been sprayed with non cook spray start layering.
1st pack in the carrot layer into the bottom of the pan
2nd layer the lamb on top of the carrots, pressing down making sure everything is packed in well.
3rd spread the cooked rice on top of the lamb and again pack it in very well – pressing down firmly.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes and then remove and plate by turning it upside down so that the carrots are on top.
Serve hot and enjoy!