Ras el Hanout

It means “head of the shop” and this North African spice blend can come in an infinite number of different blends. It’s like how every family may have their own recipe for a cookie, each BBQ pitmaster has his or her own bbq sauce recipe. Unique mixes but united with similar ingredients.

This spice blend can be used for a plethora of things, from lamb, chicken to roast veggies, and stews. I even like to sprinkle it over my avocado toast and eggs.  

Some blends can actually have over 20 spices in them. Wow. But knowing that the average person doesn’t want to have a cabinet of over 20 spices, many of which may not be used again, I’ve created this paired down recipe which I was inspired by Epicurious’ version.  

The nice thing about this spice mix is like any other spice mix you can tailor it to your own taste preferences. For me, I really like heat so I add more spicy spices to mine. I also really love that balance of sweet and savory flavors in North African cooking, so I added more spices you may be more familiar with during Christmas like cinnamon and clove.

Any which way, experiment. If you don’t have all of these spices and you don’t want to add to your growing spice cabinet, just add more of the spices that you enjoy and skip the spice that you’re missing. In the end, I am sure you’ll have a tasty and unique ras el hanout blend of your own.  😊

Ingredients:

  • ¾ tsp of cumin
  • ½ tsp of ground ginger
  • ¼ black pepper
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of ground coriander
  • ½ tsp of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp of paprika
  • ½ tsp of turmeric
  • ¼ tsp of all spice
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp of cloves
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of mace
Ras el hanout ingredients

Method:

  • Simply measure out your spices and then mix well.
  • Then store in an airtight container.

If you have any whole spices, like cloves, cumin seed or all spice, place in a spice or coffee grounder to get them to a powder. Or if you don’t, place the spices in a plastic zip lock bag and crush them with a heavy object like a hammer, a meat tenderizer or a skillet. Just be sure to do it over cutting board to prevent damaging your kitchen counter.

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