Jun 7, 2010

Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout

Ras el hanout is by far my favorite spice blend—it’s a Moroccan blend of spices for which there is no one authentic recipe. In stead there are no less than hundreds—if not thousands—of different family recipes.

Every family, store owner, butcher and town-fool has its own special recipe. Some of them mix 15 to 20 different spices while others mix as much as a hundred of them to create the best, aromatic blend. Probably why they choose this name seeing as it means something like: “Best of the shop”.

It’s a wonderful, fragrant and slightly complex tasting spice blend that really spruces up your soups, stews, tajines, shish kabob, marinades, grilled chicken, couscous and even salads. Pretty much anything you can think of… and then some.

Ingredients:

3 tsp black pepper corns
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp cloves
2 tsp coarse sea salt



Directions:

I usually buy my ras el hanout from the Moroccan bakery I visit every week. Now and then I’ll make a batch myself, though, and over the years I found the combo that seems to work best for my recipes (and taste buds).
Ras el Hanout

You’ll need some spices for it. Heck, who am I kidding? You’ll need a freaky amount of spices. But it’s for a good cause!
Ras el Hanout

You can make this spice blend by using a spice mill, a mortar and pestle or even a food processor. I prefer the mortar and pestle because it makes me seem like such a hardcore foodie.

Simply combine the black peppercorns, chili flakes, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ground ginger, turmeric, paprika powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cumin and cloves.
Ras el Hanout

You know what this is going to smell like, don’t you? Arab heaven!
Ras el Hanout

Add 2 tsp coarse sea salt and start crushing things.
Ras el Hanout

Sieve the blend now and then. Put the coarse pieces back into the mortar and repeat this process until all the spices have turned into a fine powder.
Ras el Hanout

And you’re left with an amazingly aromatic spice blend that you can now use for a million different things.
Ras el Hanout

Store in an airtight container.

Ras el Hanout
Ingredients
  • 3 tsp black pepper corns
    2 tsp ground ginger
    2 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp ground nutmeg
    1 tsp coriander seeds
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp paprika powder
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    1 1/2 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp chili flakes
    1/4 tsp cloves
    2 tsp coarse sea salt
Directions
  1. You can make this spice blend by using a spice mill, a mortar and pestle or even a food processor. Simply combine the black peppercorns, chili flakes, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ground ginger, turmeric, paprika powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cumin and cloves. Add 2 tsp coarse seas salt and start crushing and combining everything. Sieve the blend now and then. Put the coarse pieces back into the mortar and repeat this process until all the spices have turned into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.
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    9 Comments »

    1. 1

      I never thought of making Ras el Hanout. I usually buy it ready made too. Thanks for this. The spices are much fresher thus more potent when you make your own.
      Magda

      my little expat kitchen on Jun 7, 2010 @ 10:30 am
    2. 2

      I can almost smell it from here! Gorgeous shots, Kay.

      Corinne on Jun 7, 2010 @ 12:10 pm
    3. 3

      Nice pics. I have never heard of this mix before. Glad you share them with us.
      You know what? The  next invention for the internet should be scratch and sniff, so if you want to smell what you see, all you got to do is scratch lol.

      Arrisje on Jun 7, 2010 @ 1:42 pm
    4. 4

      Here’s why I love your blog so much, Kay – you always have something new, different and exciting to share! Before this, I’d never heard of ras el hanout but now you’ve made me want to try it. It reminds me of mixtures that we would call a dry rub. Ras el hanout sounds ever so much more exotic than dry rub. And, as always, your gorgeous photography makes your readers want to try the recipe all that much more.

      Lana @ Never Enough Thyme on Jun 7, 2010 @ 2:35 pm
    5. 5

      That sounds amazing. I’ve never heard of Ras el hanout. I love your homemade take on store-bought products.

      Erica Lea on Jun 7, 2010 @ 3:56 pm
    6. 6

      Homemade spice blends are so much better than store bought (most of the time). I love Moroccan food, and can’t wait to try this.

      Deanna on Jun 8, 2010 @ 2:28 am
    7. 7

      This is fabulous. Now most of these spices seem to be a part of Garam Masala… or do I have this wrong? Certainly a lot of overlap.  Can’t wait to try this when I’m living in the NL!

      Bella on Jun 8, 2010 @ 4:14 am
    8. 8

      Wow, I can smell the spices and I want them now! (it helps when you are hungry!) I have never made my own blend before. I think I will try it because I can not get enough of Moroccan foods. Thank you

      Dana Zia on Jun 12, 2010 @ 2:31 am
    9. 9

      I’m surprised the “ras el hanout” is pretty much like the garam masala we use here in India. I  love your food blog but haven’t tried any dishes because we usually don’t get the ingredients here. but this one, I am making it :)

      Vithu on May 6, 2011 @ 9:26 am

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