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Ras el Hanout

This spice blend captures the traditional flavors of this Moroccan favorite. The name “Ras el Hanout” actually means, loosely translated, “top of the shop.” The reference here is that the spice blend contains the very best blend of the finest spices the merchant has to offer. The “Ras” in the name of the blend refers to the title given to Ethiopian kings. Thus, this blend of spices represented the very best the spice merchant had to offer; it was their “King of Spices.”

There are as many different variations of Ras el Hanout as there were spice merchants. What is consistent, is that the blends contained a large number of different spices, sometimes exceeding over 20 different individual components. Traditional recipes could include ingredients like orris root (the root of a type of orchid), and galangal which while available today can sometimes be difficult to find. Other traditional recipes included ingredients like hashish!

This version embodies the deep, rich fullness of the spice mixture that is a satisfyingly and ethereal floral note without sharp edges. This makes it an extremely versatile blend that can be used in traditional dishes like chicken tagine, but is also delicious in a vegetable casserole or added to grilled fish. It works wonders to spice up another North African staple, couscous. Simply add ½ to 1 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout to 1 cup of couscous as it cooks.

 

Ingredients:

  • 60 mg saffron
  • 30 g paprika
  • 20 g ground ginger
  • 15 g ground cumin seed
  • 7 g ground coriander seed
  • 6 g ground turmeric
  • 5 g ground cinnamon
  • 3 g ground fennel seed
  • 3 g ground allspice
  • 3 g ground green cardamom
  • 3 g ground nutmeg
  • 2 g dill seed
  • 1 g caraway seeds
  • 1 gram cayenne pepper
  • 1 g ground cloves
  • 1 g mace
  • 1 g ground brown cardamom
  • 1 g ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Store in an airtight container.