Rowan Bishop for Ras el Hanout using powdered spices
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tsps tumeric
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps ginger
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsps paprika
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
Mix altogether well & store in an airtight jar in a cool place.
I like to make a very simple Ras el Hanout using potatoes and my wonderful old ranzware casserole dish.
Place 1 chopped onion in a casserole dish, cook gently to soften in a little olive oil.
Add 3 or 4 diced potatoes (agria are good)
2 tbsps of Ras el Hanout spice mix.
1 tsp good salt & 1 tsp of raw sugar...sounds strange but the little bit of sugar brings out all the flavours.
1/2 or 1 can of diced tomatoes or 6/8 diced fresh ones.
1 can of water.
Simmer gently with the lid on for an hour & a half or until the sauce has thickened & the potatoes are tender. Add more water if necessary.
In the winter months the combination of potato & celeriac is really good. I have also been adding garlic flower heads as in the picture..lovely mild flavour, just crumble in.
Choko is great with this dish. Serve with a delicious crusty bread.
Choko are very useful & cheap through the winter here & are often grown by Chinese market gardeners. they taste like kamo kamo &/or firm courgette.
They are also known as cheyote, vegetable pear or a christophene etc in other parts of the world. I must just add that apparently in Aussie slang "He couldn't train a choko to grow up a dunny wall" is used to refer to a dimwitted, incompetent or incapable person!
I also found the assurance that a choko vine would grow in your old shoe if you put a piece of fruit in there, probably while your foot was still in it! So they are easy to grow. If you have an old car, shed or ugly fence lurking around that you fancy hiding try choko!