This North African spice blend translates to ‘top of the shop’, where the Moroccan spice seller would have traditionally kept his best spices. Ras-el-hanout is, to the Middle East, what garam masala is to India.
Traditionally the mix would contain dried rose petals, cumin, coriander, black pepper and turmeric but it can be a mixture of a myriad spices. Each family, shop or company would have their own blend. We use ras-el-hanout in our Honey Lamb Kofta recipe, as well as a coating for our Persian Halloumi.
‘Kofta’ are simply small, shaped meatballs. They’re usually cooked on skewers over hot coals but ours are free-style, spiced with sticky honey, cumin, garlic and warming ras-el-hanout. Served on a fresh bulgur wheat salad with a dollop of cool Greek yoghurt, our Honey Lamb Kofta is an invigorating, hands-on recipe that you can really get stuck into.
Halloumi is a salty Cypriot cheese with an extremely high melting point, meaning you can pan fry it. Our Persian Halloumi recipe sees it coated and fried with ras-el-hanout. The pomegranate molasses, sultanas, fresh mint and bulgur wheat make for a fragrant sour and sweet base, to balance out the saltiness of the cheese.
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