Ras El Hanout
photo by French Terrine
- Ready In:
- 4 whole nutmegs
- 10 rosebuds (dried)
- 12 cinnamon sticks (Ceylon)
- 12 pieces mace (blades)
- 1 teaspoon anise seed
- 2 dried chipotle peppers
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lavender (dried)
- 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 2 pieces galangal (dried)
- 2 tablespoons whole gingerroot (dried)
- 8 pieces turmeric (dried)
- 6 cloves
- 24 allspice berries
- 20 green cardamom pods
- 4 black cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons saffron threads
- Heat a small skillet over moderate heat. When hot, add white peppercorns, aniseed, cumin seed, coriander, cloves, and allspice berries. Stir constantly until fragrant and oils are released (only a few minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool in a separate bowl.
- Husk the cardamom pods, reserving the fragrant seeds. I love the flavor of cardamom, so I use more than what Paula Wolfert recommends above.
- Remove seeds and veins from dried chipotles and break apart.
- Break up nutmeg in a mortar and pestle.
- Once peppercorns, aniseed, cumin seed, coriander, cloves, and allspice berries have cooled, combine with remaining ingredients in a spice grinder and grind all together until fine. A coffee grinder works well, but then you will not want to grind coffee in it anymore. Even Alton Brown believes in having a separate grinder dedicated to the grinding of spices.
- Sift through a strainer to remove fibers from galangale, turmeric, ginger and any pieces that just do not grind.
- Store in a glass jar under regrigeration.
- A typical slather to make is to combine 1 Tbsp of this blend with 1 Tbsp of Spanish smoked paprika. Crush at least one large clove of garlic into a paste with Kosher salt. Combine with the paprika and Ras, then add olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Slather over chicken, lamb, or fish and roast until done.
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