International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Ras el Hanout

Bowl of ras el hanout

(Moroccan spice blend)

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Average: 5 (3 votes)

Arabic for "top of the shop," ras el hanout is a spice blend, similar to Indian curry, used in Moroccan cuisine. Each spice merchant takes special pride in his own version, which can have anywhere from ten to over one hundred ingredients.

Ras el hanout is perfect as a rub for grilled meats or to season tagines, couscous or rice. Here is a recipe for a basic version. Add any of the ingredients suggested variations to give it your own personal touch. Also spelled ras al hanout or hanut.

Makes about 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon sticks, crumbled -- 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric -- 2 tablespoons
  • Peppercorns -- 1 tablespoon
  • Ground ginger -- 2 teaspoons
  • Nutmeg -- 2 teaspoons
  • Cardamom seeds -- 2 teaspoons
  • Cloves -- 2 teaspoons
  • Cayenne pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon

Method

  1. Place all of the spices into a coffee or spice grinder and process to a powder.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Ras el Hanout Variations

  • For an added dimension of flavor, toast the whole spices for a few minutes in a hot, dry skillet before grinding. If you don't have the whole spices, go ahead and use the ground version.
  • Here is a list of other spices often used in ras el hanout blends.
    • Allspice
    • Aniseed
    • Ash berries
    • Coriander seed
    • Cumin seed
    • Dried rosehips
    • Dried galangal
    • Fennel seeds
    • Grains of paradise
    • Hashish
    • Lavender
    • Mace
    • Orrisroot
    • Saffron
    • Spanish fly

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