Recipe: Ras El Hanout
Want to walk into your kitchen and feel like you’ve walked into a spice market in another country? Then I have a seasoning recipe for you! I can’t remember where I first heard of this spice mix (pronounced: ross el hun-OOT), but it originates in Morocco, a country in northern Africa. From what I’ve read, cooks there all have their own variations, some containing dozens of spices. This particular ingredient mix is complex enough to be interesting, but contains ingredients you can find at any grocery store. This is the seasoning that I reach for when I want to jazz up something simple like lentils, rice, a stew, or even a batch of meatballs.
I’m wishing I could make the above picture scratch and sniff, because the aroma of this seasoning mix is delightful and intriguing. If you don’t like your food ‘hot’, no worries. This mix imparts rich flavor without pain. The cinnamon and cloves tantalize you initially with thoughts of Grandma’s baking, while the coriander, black pepper, and turmeric seat the resultant blend solidly in with savory dishes. I added a tablespoon or so of the mix to simmering lentils on the stove today at lunch time. By the time we actually got to eat, the rich aroma had me more than ready to dig in.
Ras El Hanout
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container for up to one year. Add a teaspoon or two to any soup or stew for an exotic and lively flavor.