I first heard of Ras el Hanout when I reviewed the 600-page cookbook How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but I knew I’d have trouble finding it locally. When Savory Spice Shop offered me some to try, I didn’t hesitate.
Ras el Hanout (“head of the shop”) is a Moroccan spice blend that is very popular in North African dishes. It doesn’t refer to a particular combination of spices, but rather to a blend of the best ingredients a spice vendor has to offer. As soon as I opened the pouch from Savory Spice Shop, a shot of nutmeg hit me. Then came the notes of black pepper, sea salt, ginger, cardamom, mace, cinnamon, ground allspice, turmeric and saffron. The first thing I thought of was how great the blend would be with carrots.
Zanzibar Curry Powder, inspired by the island of the same name off the eastern coast of Africa, is a salt-free blend containing coriander seeds, cumin seeds, yellow mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, turmeric, brown sugar, Hungarian sweet paprika and cayenne. Again, something that would be terrific with carrots.
I put the two curry blends together in a simple dish with carrots, olive oil and chicken broth. The result was extremely spicy, but not hot. It would be perfect alongside a grilled chicken breast and Cucumber Raita or Tzatziki to cool things down.
Would you like to win a sampler of curry blends from Savory Spice Shop, including Zanzibar Curry Powder? Enter the giveaway by making a comment on my Vadouvan Curry-Dusted Scallops with Apple Broth post before midnight tonight (Friday, April 20, 2012).
Disclaimer: I received free samples of Ras el Hanout and Zanzibar Curry Powder from Savory Spice Shop.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (from Savory Spice Shop)
1 teaspoon Zanzibar Curry Powder (from Savory Spice Shop)
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut on diagonal into 1/8-inch slices
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add Ras el Hanout and curry powder. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add carrots and stir-fry for about 10 minutes, until cooked but still slightly firm to the bite. Add broth and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and carrots are tender, another 10 minutes or so.
Makes 6 servings
Per serving: 75 calories, 5g fat (1g sat), 1mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 8g carb, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 1g protein
Nutritional Analysis: Reduce the sodium even more by making your own chicken stock.