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Ras el Hanout, various spices and other fellow travelers

Ras el hanout and harissa

I often mention some condiments, such as ras el hanout and harissa.

To facilitate the search for clarification and do not always include the same notes at the bottom of each recipe that includes, I've given here.
Along with those other spices that you may not sell customarily used in the kitchen every day.

Ras el hanout:
Ras el Hanout is a mixture of spices and other plants of North African origin who now found in many supermarkets. As for the curry (which this is the response in North Africa ...) there are different versions. Typically they are always present nutmeg, clove, mace, anise, turmeric, cinnamon, rosebuds, lavender, pepper, ginger, chilli, cardamom.

The harissa is a sauce prepared in the mortar, based mainly on garlic, chili pepper and olive oil; if they are of different types, even in a tube, in almost all supermarkets and grocery stores. Especially in urban areas with a strong presence of people originating from the southern part of the Mediterranean basin.

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And here they follow all those that will come gradually, as the turmeric (good for the couscous, and also in the paella).

A note I do immediately on cumin: in Italian with this name are indicated two different spices:

  • cumin of meadows, kümmel (or carvi - ns Carum carvi), used for example also in cooking sauerkraut
  • the actual cumin (cumin ns).

In fact they are very similar in appearance ... but the taste is definitely different.

I often use pimpinella instead of parsley and there is a reason: it grows perfectly in my garden and is an excellent substitute for parsley; of which however it remembers the taste.

Five Spice Powder:
It is a mixture of traditional Chinese cuisine consists mainly of star anise, Sichuan pepper, cloves, cassia and fennel seeds. It is commercially ready.