No spice, no life

Whenever I cook, I need to add my own variation of spices to a dish. Most of the time, it is a case of guessing, feeling, smelling and deciding how much of each spice I’d like to add. There really is no rhyme or reason to it, and I certainly don’t use cups or teaspoons to measure the amount of spices.

From a young age my mother taught me how to cook with my eyes. She taught me how to prepare the dough for the traditional Moroccan breads based on the size of heaps of flower, semolina and salt. Scales were not allowed (to this day she doesn’t own a kitchen scale).

I am incredibly grateful that I was brought up with a sensory method of cooking and blending of spices.

One blend of spices that is used in most Moroccan dishes is Ras al Hanout. Ras el Hanout – meaning ‘top of the shop’ is a mixture of the best spices available. There are many variations of Ras el Hanout available. It is said that every kitchen in Morocco has it’s own blend.

This is mine:

3 tbsp ground paprika
2 1/2 tbsps ground cumin
2 1/2 tbsps ground ginger
4 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps turmeric
1 1/2 tsps ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsps cardamom
1 tsps nutmeg
1/2 tsps caraway seed
1/2 tsps cayenne pepper
1/2 tsps clove
1/2 tsps black pepper
2  – 3 saffron strands
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2 thoughts on “No spice, no life

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