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Salmon Ras El Hanout

Melinda Parrish

Adapted from Whole Spice by Chef Claudia Sansone  
Yields 6 

Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min


  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or Grape Seed oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lb center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Stir together yogurt, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, oil, garlic, Ras el Hanout, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup for sauce; cover and refrigerate for use atop fish after cooked.
Place salmon fillets in a large sealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining herb mixture, seal the bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the bag over once.

Grill cooking:

Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack by placing oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack.

Remove the salmon from the marinade, blotting any excess. Grill the salmon until browned and opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Oven cooking:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place salmon on oiled baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
To serve, top each piece with a dollop of the reserved sauce and garnish with lemon wedges. 

Traditional Malawian Nsima

Melinda Parrish

Serves 2


  • 1 cup ufa (finely ground white corn flour)
  • 2 3/4-3 cups water for each cup ufa 
  • Butter or margarine optional


Heat the water in the saucepan until lukewarm.

Mix a little of the ufa  (finely ground white corn flour) with the water, stirring well to make sure there are no lumps.  Bring to a boil, stirring well, then lower the heat and let boil gently for a few minutes.  

The mixture should look like a thin, transparent porridge.  Sprinkle the remaining ufa (white corn flour) over, a little at a time, stirring continuously to avoid lumps from forming, until the desired consistency is reached.

Keep stirring until the nsima is smooth and well cooked.  A little butter or margarine may be stirred in at this stage. Serve in a dish accompanied by a relish such as pumpkin leaves or tabasco sauce.


Use a wooden spoon to stir nsima.  

Lentil Dip African Ras el Hanout

Melinda Parrish

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine's Marcus Samuelsson by Claudia Sansone
Yields 12

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Total Time: 50 min


  • 2 Cups Brown Lentils
  • 1 Carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout Spice
  • Salt and ground black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro


In a large saucepan, cover the lentils, carrots and onions with vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until the lentils are tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 35 minutes. In a food processor, puree the lentils and vegetables.

In the same saucepan, melt the butter. Add Ras el Hanout Spice and cook over low heat stirring a few times, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the lentil puree and cook stirring for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Serve with toasted pita bread

Lamb Vindaloo Curry

Melinda Parrish

By Shuli Madmone and Claudia Sansone
Yields 4

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 2 hr 10 min
Total Time: 2 hr 20 min


  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs Lamb, cubed
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vindaloo Curry
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind concentrate (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water


Season lamb with salt and pepper. In a saute’ pan heat oil and saute lamb until slightly seared, for 4-5 minutes . Remove the lamb and set aside. Add chopped onion to skillet and saute until lightly brown. Add fresh chopped tomato and garlic. Saute until tomatoes are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Then add fresh ginger, cilantro, Vindaloo curry, black pepper, salt, and paprika. Add tomato paste and mix all ingredients well. Next add Tamarind and water; mix well. Lower the heat and add the sauteed lamb. Cook for about 2 hours stirring about every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Best served over rice.

East African Rub Meatballs

Melinda Parrish

By Kevin Gouveia
Yields 6

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 50 min


  • 1 loaf seasoned Italian bread - divided
  • 1 cup whole white milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup Asiago Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 lbs Roma (plum) tomatoes, core removed
  • ¼  cup olive oil + 4 tablespoons
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 ½ tablespoon East African Rub
  • ½  cup Red Wine
  • 1 can 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes


In a large mixing bowl pull apart the inside of the bread loaf and soak in milk for 20 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl combine ground beef, sweet sausage and hot sausage. Add 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1/2 cup Asiago Cheese. Mix well. Add 1 egg to meat mixture.

Squeeze the excess milk out of the bread, discarding the milk. Crumble the bread into the meat mixture insuring to break apart any large chunks of bread. Do not overwork or the meatballs will be tough.

Shape into baseball size meatballs. Place on a sheet pan in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

In a large pot add 2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Heat on medium high.  

Slit and X into the skin at each end of the tomato.  Add Roma tomatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a saucepan place olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Combine onions and garlic with tomatoes, add East African Rub, wine and crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Add meatballs to sauce in increments to allow all the meatballs to soak for 10 minutes in sauce.


Chicken Ras El Hanout With Lentils

Melinda Parrish

Adapted from Whole spice by Claudia Sansone
Yields 4

The name Ras el Hanout loosely translated means “head of the shop” and is meant to represent the very best the spice the merchant has to offer. When sprinkled onto chicken and fish before pan-frying, grilling, or baking it gives a golden color and mild, aromatic spiciness that is very agreeable. Ras el hanout goes well with lamb, game, tagines, and couscous dishes.

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min
Total Time: 1 hr 20 min


  • 1/2 cup of black lentils, rinsed  
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Ras el hanut (1/2 for chicken & 1/2 for sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seed powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of chicken or vegetable broth


Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small pot and add lentils. Cook lentils for 7 minutes and turn off the heat. Let it remain in the hot water until chicken is almost cooked.

Rinse the chicken well. Remove any excess fat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, black pepper, and ras el- hanut.

In a large casserole over medium high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until brown about 8 minutes. Add spices: saffron, ginger, black pepper, salt, turmeric, Ras el Hanout, and fenugreek; sauté for 3 more minutes.

Add seasoned chicken to pot and sprinkle over the chopped fresh parsley and cilantro. Cover and lower the heat. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Drain lentils from the water. Turn chicken thighs over, add lentils, and 1/3 cup of chicken or vegetable broth; stir, taste juices, and adjust seasoning to taste. Cook for 20 more minutes until lentils are soft and mostly absorbed.


Serve with Pita bread or over rice. This dish may be made with double the lentils for a vegan recipe.