Late last year I wrote at some length on how ras-al-hanout had become one of my must-have ingredients. I had at that time promised the recipe, but it’s taken me a while to get around to actually sharing it 🙂 As my supply was running low I figured this was as good a time as any to share this little ‘secret’, especially with those who may find their way here via Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this time around by Cooking in Westchester 🙂
So what is Ras-Al-Hanout? According to Wikipedia
Ras el hanout, also called Moroccan seasoning, is a popular blend of herbs and spices that originated in Morocco and used in other parts of North Africa. The name means in Arabic “top of the shop”, and refers to a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer.
Because it’s a blend of so many different flavours you can’t quite pinpoint what it is in a dish. You just know that there is something really different going on behind the scenes. As there is also cinnamon I also use it from time to time in sweet dishes. Again I find it gives desserts a certain ‘adult’ kick, where your tastebuds kinda still and go wait… wait… something’s different here… but in a good way 🙂
My other favorite thing about ras-al-hanout is that I can top it up as I go along based on my moods and whims. Cardamom yes! Cumin? Sure! Coriander? Why not 🙂 It really appeals to my spice wanderlust 🙂 And as it combines all the flavours already used in Trinidadian cooking it never seems out of place. From curries to chillies to omelettes. My ‘special’ glass jar is ALWAYS in use when I’m in the kitchen 🙂
Recipe By: Homemade: Delicious Foods to Make and Give
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
30 bay leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup chopped cinnamon stick
1/4 cup white peppercorns
1/4 cup dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground allspice
Combine the bay leaves, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, thyme, and allspice in a medium bowl.
In batches, process to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
Store in a cool, dry spot