Easy Ras El Hanout

Easy Ras El Hanout Recipe
The Spruce
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yield: 1/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 6mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ras el hanout is a complex, aromatic spice blend that's famously associated with Moroccan cuisine. If you're lucky enough to go to this beautiful country, ras el hanout should be on your list of foods to bring back from Morocco. The literal translation of ras el hanout from Arabic to English is “head of the shop," but in reality, it means "top shelf," both terms implying that this is the very best offering in a spice shop. Due to its liberal use in mrouzia, a lamb and honey dish with intense seasoning, ras el hanout is also sometimes called mrouzia spice. Some versions are spicy, and some have no heat at all. If you make your own blend, you can control the heat.

No two versions of this spice blend are the same, so when sampling ras el hanout from different sources, you'll notice slight flavor variations. At its core, the spice blend isn't intrinsically spicy unless you intentionally add this flavor profile. Most recipes include cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric—at times a total of 30 or more ingredients might be used in varying quantities. Some blends could add up to 80 spices, so the beauty of the spice lies in a fluid recipe but also in personal preferences.

The blend is typically prepared by grinding together whole spices, dried roots, and leaves. This recipe, however, keeps things extra simple by using ground spices that you may already have at home. If you'd like to try making a lengthier, more complex, and robust version, try using whole spices instead for a bolder and deeper flavor. Note that relatively few Moroccans use this spice blend in daily cooking; instead, the majority reserve it for specialty dishes.

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"The ras el hanout spice blend is super easy to make, and most of the ingredients are fairly common. It took less than 10 minutes to gather the ingredients and measure them, and the flavors were great. The cayenne was a little heavy, so if you like mild flavors, leave it out or use less." —Diana Rattray

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

  • 2 teaspoons ground mace

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Easy ras el hanout ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Place all of the spices into a bowl and stir to combine evenly.

    Mix ras el hanout ingredients in a bowl
    The Spruce
  3. Transfer the spice mix to a glass jar and store it in a dry, cool place away from heat and sunlight for up to six months. Enjoy it in your favorite meat, tagine, and stew recipes.

    Ras el hanout in a container
    The Spruce

How to Use Ras el Hanout

​Here are some ideas on how to use ras el hanout:

Is Garam Masala the Same as Ras el Hanout?

Garam masala, an aromatic spice blend of Indian origin is sometimes confused with ras el hanout. While they are both carefully curated spice blends, and equally delicious, they are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably. Although they can share common spices in the mix, ras el hanout has a vast number of these, whereas garam masala has fewer spices.


So even if they could have similarities, depending on the blend, ras el hanout is meant to give a North African flavor to your meal, whereas garam masala is intended for recipes of Indian origin.