Ras el Hanout is another family favourite, this North African spice blend translates to “top of the shop” and is a complex and distinctive medley of fragrant spices.
The term ras el hanout refers to a North African spice blend, which often includes up to 40 different spices, with some blends claiming to include over one hundred. The specific quantities and exact spices are a much-guarded secret from one spice shop to the next, with the blending of this spice mix is considered an art - this is my version.
A complex but mild flavoured blend that is not hot, so think of it as a general-purpose spice to add to couscous or rice, use to enhance the flavour of casseroles and tagines or rub it onto meat or vegetables prior to cooking.
Some suggested uses for ras el hanout...
- Excellent rubbed on roast vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, etc. You can either serve the vegetables as a side or in a salad.
- Mix with some oil to make into a marinade and marinate meat such as pork, lamb, beef or chicken overnight, then cook on its own or in a tagine with other vegetables.
- Use in couscous, or rice, sauté diced onions in oil and Ras el Hanout then stir through cooked couscous or rice.
Salads with Ras el Hanout...
If you are looking for more spice blend recipes I recommend "Just Add Spice" or "The Herb and Spice Bible" now in its third edition.
- ½ tablespoon mild paprika
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1½ tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- ½ tablespoon cassia bark
- ½ tablespoon ground turmeric
- ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- Toast your seeds on a dry pan over low-medium heat until aromatic.
- Remove from heat then grind them into a powder using a spice grinder
- or mortar and pestle.
- Place the ground seeds and remaining spices in a bowl and stir until well combined.