1 egg only is required for meatballs; the 4 additional eggs are to poach in sauce before serving which is optional. This dish was my husband John's favorite by far on our trip to Morocco. He ate 34 mini meatballs in one tagine the first night he ordered it. You may omit the eggs but it is traditionally served with the eggs soft poached for mixing in as you eat. John added couscous to his, or flat bread is also a fine accompaniment, but the dish can easily stand-alone and it is a stand out. Ras el Hanout means head of the shop and is a spice mix that can be found on-line and in many larger markets. It may contain as many as 100 spices and as few as 10. I make a base substitute from spices I have on hand in my own pantry. I make batches of about 1/3 cup then I can keep on hand for several recipes before I need to make more. This dish is great as-is or serve with whole wheat couscous, prepared to package directions, or flatbread warmed then brushed with melted butter.