I love making a regular batch of this blend. Ras el Hanout is a spice blend from North Africa that is as ubiquitous in Morocco as curry is in India. Although most associated with Moroccan food, it is also used in Algeria and other neighboring countries. It’s my secret weapon, and should basically be encased in glass and labeled “in case of boring food emergency.” It’s a little bit of an investment in spices to make this, but it’s worth it. A batch will last several months in a closed container. You can add a dash of this to meat dishes- it’s equally good in chicken and beef, vegetable dishes, meat pies, quiche, soups, rice, couscous, and anything that needs a little kick in the pants flavor.
Ras el Hanout is Arabic for “top of the shelf” and implies that the mixture is the best a spice shop has to offer. I absolutely love the play of savory and typically sweet spices here. Turmeric and cayenne with cinnamon and nutmeg, among others. It would be the perfect complement to pork with a fruit-based pan sauce or chicken with apricots or dates. The finished blend will keep for months if stored dry in a closed container.
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons ground mace
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground anise (fennel) seed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Combine well in a medium mixing bowl.
- Store in a closed container in a dry place.
- Spice ratios adapted from aboutfood.com.