Ras el hanout is the most famous North African spice mix. You find it in the Tunisian, Algerian, and, of course, Moroccan cuisine. Literally translated ras el hanout means ‘head of the shop’. That is because it is the mixture of the finest selection of spices that the shop owner has to offer. It is a Moroccan curry powder comparable to the Indian garam masala (not in flavor but function).
There are lots of recipes for ras el hanout and it can contain an incredible amount of spices. The basic aroma comes from ginger, turmeric, pepper, anise seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon. On the contrary to many recipes, the Moroccan version does not contain cumin and paprika powder. But it is full of other spices that are rare to find in the daily Moroccan cuisine, such as dried rosebuds, galanga, and long pepper.
My version of ras el hanout is a mixture of 14 spices. I wanted to create an authentic recipe with ingredients that are not too hard to find so that you can make it easily at home.
The spice mix will not only make your dishes more aromatic, but the spices are also full of health benefits.
Use your homemade ras el hanout to round off the taste of the Moroccan classics such as tajine, gamila (stew), couscous, and harira. I do not recommend it for chermoula (Moroccan marinade) based dishes. You can use the spice mixture not only for Moroccan dishes. It is good for any dish and snack that you want to make aromatic with a special mix of spices.
- cinnamon, 1 stick
- turmeric, 2 tablespoons
- ginger, 2 tablespoons
- coriander powder (or seeds), 3 tablespoons
- allspice, 1 tablespoon
- anise seeds, 1 tablespoon
- fenugreek seeds, 1 tablespoon
- cloves, 1 ½ teaspoon
- nutmeg, ½ piece
- black pepper, 1 tablespoon
- black nigella seeds, 1 ½ teaspoon
- green cardamom, 1 ½ teaspoon
- dry red chili, 1 piece
- saffron, ½ teaspoon
- Put all the ingredients except the saffron into a skillet. Toast the spices while stirring for a few seconds until you can perceive the aroma.
- Next, put the spices into a grinder and grind them until they have turned into powder.
- Add the saffron and grind the spices again. To store the homemade ras el hanout, fill it into a jar!