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February 14, 2012

My Ras el Hanout recipe includes cinnamon & cumin

Ras el Hanout is a complex and distinctive mix of spices originating from the villages of  North Africa.

Ras el Hanout translated; means “best of the shop” and the blend represented the best spices the spice merchant had to offer. Each family or merchant would have their own secret recipe and traditional mixes in the past might have included hashish and/or spanish fly. My version omits these – it’s legal and healthy.

My recipe is based on a lovely experience I had at Maha Restaurant in Melbourne. At the end of the meal, wait staff came with a tiny rosewater filled teapot to pour over our hands – (a Middle Eastern version of a refresher towel!) and we were presented with a vial of Ras el Hanout to take home. This lovely sharing gesture inspired me to make up my own Ras el Hanout and here is the recipe:

  •  5 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 tab black peppercorns
  • 1 tab cloves
  • 1 tab coriander seeds
  • 1 tab cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mace shells
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 dried rose buds

Roast whole spices in TM bowl for 6 minutes on VAROMA temp slow speed.

Leave to cool for 10 mins then mill 1 minute SP 10. Store in a glass jar and use on salads, grilled meats & in stews. I use it liberally on my Moroccan Chicken, Pumpkin & Couscous salad.

I get a lot of my spices from the Indian or Asian grocer. They are a fraction of the price but…. are not organic, and rarely Australian grown. If you are looking for organic try here. Or Australian, try here. It makes a huge difference if your spices are fresh so buy them in small amounts. I transfer them into tightly lidded glass jars and store them at the back of my pantry to keep them fresh.

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