Ras el hanout
This is a warming blend of herbs and spices from Morocco. Its ingredients may include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, allspice berries, cardamom pods, black peppercorns, and sesame seeds.
It is a particularly handy spice mix to have on hand for winter tagines or you can add it to flour when frying fish or mix it with oil as a marinade.
Some variations of ras el hanout are known for “sparking romance’’ — perhaps that is when a few rosebuds are added or a pinch of lavender flowers.
Available at speciality food stores and some supermarkets.
Warren Elwin's recipe for ras el hanout