1.10.10

Ras el Hanout and Roasted Carrots

I feel so fortunate to have a little garden and friends with gardens.  These carrots came from a friend who lives in a village near to me.  They were beautiful and large.  I decided to toss them with olive oil, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper and ras el hanout.

I have been reading so many blogs where this spice blend is being used and everyone raves about it.  Last week I visited a quaint and amazing spice shop, The Silk Road, and I found it!

If you think 'Moroccan spices' this would best describe the flavours.  It was a house blend and was very potent.  But when sprinkled on the carrots it became subtle and amazing - adding that little 'je ne sais quoi'.  I roasted the carrots in the oven at 350F and this brought out the sweetness nicely.

Ras el hanout or Rass el hanout (Arabic: راس الحانوت) is a popular blend of spices that is used across North Africa. The name means "top of the shop" in Arabic, and refers to a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer.
There is no definitive set combination of spices that makes up Ras el hanout. Each shop, company, person would have their own secret combination containing over a dozen spices. Typically they would include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ground chili peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric.
Some recipes include over one hundred ingredients, some rarely found in Western food, such as ash berries, chufa, Grains of Paradise, orris root, Monk's pepper, cubebs, dried rosebud, Usually all ingredients are toasted and then ground up together. Individual recipes are often improvised.
Ras el hanout is used in almost every kind of food; sometimes rubbed on meat, and stirred into rice. (Wikapedia)

These carrots will go nicely with my lamb tonight.

12 comments:

  1. great, another spice I need to start looking for. I make glazed carrots all the time (they're my hubby's favorite) and I am getting tired of just ground ginger, kosher, brown sugar, butter, and S&P.

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  2. lexi> how can I describe the flavour? Subtle and interesting. These guys ship.

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  3. I love roast carrots- I could eat them like candy. :) That spice mix sounds wonderful and I'm going to look for it!

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  4. So thrilled that it's coming into roasted-root-vegetable season. I crave this kind of warmth (especially right now, after having just spent 12 hours driving through the pouring rain to get to Maine).

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  5. Interesting mixture of spices, I must see what I can find.

    I sadly leave my little heaven in two weeks time to return to the UK for winter and to look after my husband for a bit! Roll on retirement for him so we can be permanently in France. Having a young husband is great, but not so good when you both want to retire:-) Diane

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  6. These look amazing!! I love the color and I can bet that the spice blend made the carrots sing. Another winner Sarah!

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  7. I do love cooked carrots; I just made glazed carrots on Thursday night.

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  8. You started out with gorgeous home grown carrots, Sarah...that's the best. Lucky you! I've never tried to roast carrots. I roast everything else, so can't imagine why. These look delicious. I'm not familiar with the spice, but the flavors spell fall, don't they?

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  9. henfruit> yes, almost like candy! Good description.

    Nervous Cook> I love roasted root veggies, too.

    Diane> I can feel for you.

    Nana> nice to see you are back.

    Andrea> nice way to describe the flavour!

    Marjie> they are my favourite fall veggie.

    Barbara> Moroccan flavours do spell fall.

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  10. We love Silk Road. We've been using his stuff for awhile now. The owner used to work with Arlene's son, so we got a nice selection of their blended spices for Christmas last year. Must try the Ras el hanout.

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  11. I've got to try this, I loooooove ras-el-hanout!!

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