*What is ras el hanout?
The literal translation of ras el hanout, the North African spice mixture, is "head of the shop." There was a time when spice merchants would mix together their best spices as a way to showcase top-shelf products. This meant that there wasn't really any agreed-upon recipe for ras el hanout, but eventually, a combination of specific spices became the most common. Cumin seed, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, dried ginger, nutmeg, aniseed, cloves, and turmeric are some of the most frequently used. Nearly every family or home cook has their own version that they rely on and have made to their own tastes.