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Ras el Hanout

September/October 2008

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Ras el hanout is a special blend of spices used to flavor many North African and Middle Eastern dishes. The combination varies depending on who prepares it, but most blends contain cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and nutmeg. The saffron in this blend imparts a lovely yellow color. Make a large batch and keep it on hand—it's so delicious you'll want to use it as a rub for fish or meat, try it in vegetable stews or add it to roasted vegetables.


Ras el Hanout Recipe

Makes: 1 1/2 tablespoons

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Ingredients

  • 8 saffron threads, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Crush saffron and salt together in a mortar and pestle until a coarse powder forms. (Alternatively, place saffron and salt on a cutting board and use the flat side of a chef’s knife to grind into a coarse powder.) Combine with ginger, turmeric, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper in a small bowl.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
  • Ingredient note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops and at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.

Nutrition

Per 1 1/2 tablespoons: 29 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 4653 mg sodium; 86 mg potassium.

Exchanges: none


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