Ras el Hanout - the story
6 December 2014
“Not two recipes are alike” is being said on North-Africa’s most famous spice mixture - the Ras el Hanout!
Literally means “Head of the Shop” (similar in Hebrew - Rosh ha Hanut), this is probably one of the most accurate description for a spice-mixture, since it meant to be ‘the best of the best spice-mixtures’ every self-respecting shop owner has to offer.
From this, we learn that though there is a basic recipe for Ras el Hanout, the variations are incalculable. Not only the ratios are different from one shop owner to another, besides the 30 known ingredients that can be used (or not used) in it, there are several rare ingredients that can only be found in some regions (and only there, they are being added to the local Ras el Hanout).
An example for a not so rare (though quite strange) ingredient is desiccated “Spanish Fly” beetle, that was added to many Ras el Hanout recipes in the past - mainly for its aphrodisiac effect (the consumption of this beetle results in increased blood flow), unfortunately, it is also very poisonous - so today it is illegal to add it.
This spice mixture can be added to soups (Harira), stews, meats, cereals (rice), legumes (chickpeas) and more.
Click here, if you are interested in making your own Ras el Hanout spice mixture.
by: Amit Rabin