Ras el Hanout and Roasted Carrots
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.