For folks who love making homemade seasonings, ras el hanout is their dream blend! Hailing from Morocco, but used throughout North Africa, this complex recipe really gives you the chance to use ingredients that you don't normally get the chance to experience. Feel free to experiment! (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)
What You'll Need: (makes about 10 tablespoons)
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp allspice berries
1 tbsp cubebs
1 tbsp paprika powder
1 tbsp galangal powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp grains of paradise
2 tsp ground sumac
1 tsp szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp annatto seeds
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp ajwain seeds
3 inch piece cinnamon
2-3 blades of mace
20-30 dried curry leaves
tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
Store your ras el hanout in a cool place in an airtight jar and out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months.
Note: As you've gone to the considerable effort of making this complex blend, why not go one step further and dry toast the whole ingredients before grinding?
This will release even more flavours and aromas and is really quite a simple process. Click here for step-by-step info on this. (Link opens in new window)
Ingredient Note: For this Moroccan spice mix, I recommend using whole ingredients when and where you can. However, If you don't have some of them all available, just use pre-ground powders, but reduce the amount the recipe calls for by half. For example, if it says 1 tablespoon mustard seeds you would use 2 teaspoons pre-ground mustard and stir in with the other powders when making.
Translated from Arabic this blend means "head of the shop" or "top of the shop" and can consist of anywhere between 15 and 25+ spices!
It really gives the adventurous chef a chance to show off, and in the numerous variations available, you will often find some fairly unusual ingredients mixed in.
My variation above has a couple of seldom used ingredients, cubebs, galangal and rose petals, but compared to some I've come across mine is still quite basic.
Orris root, long pepper, lavender, grains of paradise, chufa nuts and ash berries are just a few of the exotic ones I've found used.
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