Citizens, Ras el hanout is the most complex spice mélange in the world, originating from North Africa and most closely identified with Moroccan food.
It plays a similar role in North African cuisine as garam masala does in Indian cuisine. The name is Arabic for “head of the shop” (similar to the English expression “top-shelf”) and implies a mixture of the best spices the seller has to offer.
Ras el hanout is used in many savory dishes, sometimes rubbed on beef or fish, or stirred into rice. Ras el hanout also goes well with lamb, game, tagines, and couscous and even for seasoning an apple pie in place of plain cinnamon!
There is no definitive composition of spices that makes up ras el hanout. Each shop, company, or family have their own blend. Commonly used ingredients in ras el hanout include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric.
Rare spices can include ash berries, chufa, grains of paradise, orris root, monk’s pepper, cubebs, dried rosebud, fennel seed or aniseed, galangal and long pepper.
A mediocre version of the blend typically has 4-6 common spices in equal proportions for the recipe, while a good one has at least a dozen common and rare spices made up in different proportions. Ingredients may be toasted before being ground or pounded in a mortar and mixed together.
Mine is the most complex version of ras el hanout you’ll ever find in English and possibly even Arabic – it uses ***36*** spices in my masterfully decadent recipe! I was seriously debating never to share this, but decided in the end that the world deserves it for posterity. 😉
Even Paula Wolfert, the doyenne of Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine, has offered her praise regarding my recipe – it was one of the greatest moments of my culinary life when she did so! FYI, you can purchase most of these spices from Kalustyan’s.
You need to try the authentic version of this unmatched spice blend, just once – it is truly supernatural in its level of flavor complexity! 🙂 For a surprising use of this complex spice, try it in my pineapple upside-down cake!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
Citizens, you have probably noticed we don’t use ads here on TFD.
YOUR support is what keeps the lights on – I can no longer afford to absorb the nearly $1000 per month it costs to keep the site running smoothly, including marketing expenses, etc.
You can make a difference!
Please consider making a one-time donation to help keep the site live and the posts coming – click here to PayPal Me a tip!
You can also show your support by listening to our podcasts, liking them, and sharing as you see fit – try them out here.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?