Ras El Hanout (رأس الحانوت‎‎ ), a North African Spice Mix

Ras el Hanout (رأس الحانوت‎‎ ), a North African Spice Mix

Ras El Hanout (رأس الحانوت‎‎ ), a North African Spice Mix
Ras el Hanout (رأس الحانوت‎‎ ), a North African Spice Mix

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

What is Ras el Hanout?

The term “Ras el Hanout” (in Arabic رأس الحانوت‎‎) actually means “head of the shop” in Arabic. In culinary terms, it refers to the aromatic spice blend used liberally in North African, and especially Moroccan cooking. It is a much loved spice mix, just like the garam masala is in Indian and Pakistani cooking, and advieh in Persian cooking.

It is easily made at home and no two recipes are going to be the same; some elaborate mixes can have over 20 spices and dried roots in them. I use different ingredients when making it, depending on what I’m cooking.

There are so many spice mixes and spice blends in the region:

Some, like Tabil, are very basic and stay basic. Others, like advieh and ras el hanout, are open to interpretation.

Ras El Hanout is also sometimes called Mrouzia spice blend, because it is used extensively in the sweet and savoury lamb tagine. Like some of our lamb tagine recipes here on this site.

In North African souks and shops, ras el hanout is often packed to order, to the customer’s needs. The image below shows a spice seller putting together a ras el hanout blend to the customer’s requirements, in Morocco. I remember her telling him to go easy on the turmeric and rose.

Spice seller in Souk

How to use Ras El Hanout?

  • As a marinade for meat, in dips and great on flatbreads.
  • Also fantastic in deepening the flavour of stews and tagine recipes.
  • I also love changing up the plain old couscous with this
  • it lifts the ordinary yoghurt to another level, like this one, Za’atar Yoghurt. Flavoured yoghurts are great as a condiment in Middle Eastern and Indian spreads.

More Spice Mixes on LinsFood

Now, shall we get our aprons on?

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And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

Ras El Hanout (رأس الحانوت‎‎ ), a North African Spice Mix

Ras El Hanout, a North African Spice Mix

The term “Ras el Hanout” (in Arabic رأس الحانوت‎‎) actually means “head of the shop” in Arabic. In culinary terms, it refers to the aromatic spice blend used liberally in North African cooking.
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Course: Ingredients
Cuisine: Moroccan (North African)
Keyword: spice mix
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor

Equipment

  • A good spice or coffee grinder

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 small cinnamon stick broken up
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Seeds from 10 cardamoms
  • 1 tsp dried edible rose petals

You can also add:

  • sumac
  • chilli powder
  • paprika
  • dried edible lavender
  • dried lime

Instructions

  • Dry fry the whole spices (not the rose petals) on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes until fragrant and slightly darker.
  • Let them cool to room temperature.
  • Place in the grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  • Store in a clean jar in a cool place, as you would your other spices.
  • It will last for months, although as with all spices, its potency will diminish with time.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 12mg

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