Ras el hanout (morroccan spice)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
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This renowned traditional Moroccan blend of 20 or more spices never fails to intrigue foreigners. Ras el hanout means "head of the shop". presumably because the owner mixes the blend to his own taste and to the requirements, including spending power, of the customer. The blends vary from one region to another: those from the bazaar in Fez seem to be the most complex. All contain some aphrodisiacs- cantharides (the shiny green Spanish fly beetle), ash berries and monk's pepper- as well as spices and dried flowers. Ras el hanout is always sold whole and ground as required. It is considered warming, and is used with game; in rice and couscous stuffings; in lamb tagines (stews), such as Mrouziya; and in a sweetmeat of almonds, honey, butter and hashish called el majoun.

A typical blend could include cardamom, mace, galangal, long pepper, cubebs, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, rose buds, lavender flowers, Spanish fly beetle, ash berries, grains of paradise, black pepper, chufa nuts, turneric, cassia, nigella, monk's pepper, belladonna and orris root.

Source: Jill Norman "The Complete Book of Spices" Viking Studio Books, 1991 ISBN 0-670-83437-8 The book is lavishly illustrated with full color photographs of the herbs and spices- whole, mixed, ground.

Recipe by: Jill Norman * Web File 4/97 Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #632 by "Mary Spyridakis" <MSpork@...> on Jun 2, 97

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