Ras el Hanout at the supermarket! We are a global foodie culture!


A friend in Arlington VA,  found a jar of Ras el Hanout (meaning “top of the shop” or “the best that the shop has to offer”)  Morocco’s most famous spice blend, at her local commissary. The authentic spice can sometimes contain up to 32 different ingredients, though McCormick’s has pared the list down considerably. I cam quite sure that it doesn’t contain the “secret” Moroccan ingredient and purported aphrodisiac, Spanish fly! 

Try my blend, and make the elegant lamb medallions I once prepared at the Culinary Institute of America in St Helena.

Kitty’s Seared Lamb Medallions with Mourouziya


Serves 6

1  1/2 lbs lamb loin, boned and trimmed of fat

 2 tablespoons ras el hanout

 Olive oil

 Mourouziya (recipe below)


 Cut lamb into 12 medallions (2 ounces each) of equal size. Pound very lightly with a meat mallet. Pat dry. Sprinkle with ras el hanout on both sides. Lightly salt. Set aside.

Lightly coat a large, non-stick skillet with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Set medallions in the pan without crowding. Sear quickly, 2 minutes or so on each side. Meat should remain pink in the center. To serve: Top medallions with some morouziya. Serve hot.



2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced onions

¾ cup seedless black raisins, rinsed quickly under running water

¼ cup seedless golden raisins, rinsed quickly under running water

1/3 cup toasted diced almonds

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup beef broth or stock

1 tablespoon ras el hanout or to taste plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt to taste

Whole almonds, toasted, for garnish

In a large, non-reactive pan, over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Cook onions, stirring occasionally until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add currants, raisins, diced almonds, honey, stock, and ras el hanout. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: To toast almonds, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds on a lightly oiled baking sheet, shaking the pan once or twice. Toast until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.


Ras el hanout:

This recipe yields approximately 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) for about 8 servings.

2 teaspoons ground coriander seed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek

1  ½ teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine ingredients.



Thursday, August 1, 2013. 6:00PM

A Taste of Morocco, presentation and book signing

San Diego County Library. Vista Branch

 700 Eucalyptus Avenue

Vista CA. (760)643-5100

 Sunday, August 11, 2013. 4PM


American Institute of Wine and Food

 San Diego, CA

 Saturday August 17th, 2013. 8PM.

 A Taste of Morocco evening presentation

If you happen to be spending some time at what was just voted “World’s Best Destination Spa” for the 3rd time by readers of Travel and Leisure magazine.

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, MX

 Hope to see you there!

Program chairs:

Looking for a program for your organization, book club, or

private gathering? I will be happy to offer my services. Just call me or drop me an e-mail.



4 thoughts on “Ras el Hanout at the supermarket! We are a global foodie culture!

  1. Kitty

    Ras el hanout is now available from McCormick spices. I would check your local supermarket. Or follow a recipe from my book, Cooking at the Kasbah
    or order by mail from a good spice vendor such as The Spice House in Evanston, Il.

  2. Linda Berzok

    I saw the spice blend in the supermarket just the other day and was amazed! I brought some back from Morocco when I was there in the spring. May also be worth noting that Penzey’s now has Berbere spice blend.
    On another ingredient entirely, what phyllo dough do you recommend? I just got some Athens dough and was very disappointed although I’ve used it successfully in the past. After I thawed it and placed it under a wet towel, I found that it was splitting vertically. It was not past the Sell By date by a long shot. I’ve also seen that Trader Joe’s and Sprouts has phyllo. I admit I am spoiled by working with freshly made phyllo at a class in Fes!! The difference is unbelievable. It’s soft and stretchy and does not dry out while you’re working with it.


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