16.6.10

Ras el Hanout with Foraged Flowers - Recipes

Here’s one you probably won’t have tried a Moroccan spice blend called Ras el Hanout. This translates to ‘top of the shop’ or as we might say in the UK ‘best of the best’. It is called this because the ingredients in this spice mix are the best in their cuisine and is outrageously good!

I am not going to fool you into saying that all of these ingredients are easy to get, you’ll find most in your supermarket have to look in Chinese supermarkets for the rest and potentially go online for the final one or two.. Oh, and forage for the rest! But.. It is worth it, if you have a Tagine, if you are interested in learning the complex exotic Moroccan cuisine or simply love to try and cook different things please make this spice mix. It will store for months!

In terms of the foraged goods, that will be the Lavender flowers (that you should dry) and the Rosebuds. Pick small unopened Wild Rose buds (Dog Rose), dry and peel off the Green flower casing.

Ras el Hanout with Foraged Flowers

Ingredients

4 Whole Nutmegs
12 Cinnamon Sticks
12 Blades of Mace
1 Tsp Aniseed
8 Pieces of Turmeric
2 Small pieces Orrisroot
2 Dried Cayenne Peppers
1 Tbsp White Peppercorns
6 Cloves
24 Allspice Berries
20 Green cardamom pods
2 Pieces Galingale
2 Tbsp whole Ginger root
10 Rosebuds (dried)
1/2 Tsp Lavender (dried)

The hardest thing about this recipe is finding the ingredients! To make this spicy mix simply place all of the ingredients (except the Rose buds) in a coffee or spice grinder and grind until fine. Make sure the blend is fine (checking the corners of the grinder for any large pieces) and when ready pass through a sieve.

The Rose buds should be dry and you can gently break them open in a mortar and pestle. Add these to the sieved spice mix, stir in and then place in airtight containers.

I know there is a lot, but the only way to get the mix right is to make it to these huge volumes. If you can find suitable containers these little spicy packages make great little presents and the effort is obvious to the receivers of your presents especially when they taste it!

So what should you do with it.. Well the Moroccans don’t muck around. They use it with everything albeit vegetables, fish or meat, in a Tagine or as a roasting rub. My favourite is to rub a whole leg of Lamb in the plenty of the dry mix making sure that the aromatic spices penetrate deep into the Lamb. Slow roast it covered for 4 or 5 hours until the meat is falling off of the bone and serve it with a flavoured lemony Cous Cous, cooked Apricots and a spicy gravy made from the juices… Exquisite!

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