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How to Blend Your Own Ras el Hanout

In Moroccan, spices play a pivotal role, elevating dishes to unparalleled heights of flavor. Despite the rich tapestry of spices woven into their culinary traditions, Moroccans have a unique approach—they use an array of spices, yet their food is rarely considered “spicy”. Among the treasures of Moroccan spices stands out a distinctive blend known as ras el hanout.

While not an everyday spice, ras el hanout is a testament to the meticulous craft and cultural uniqueness in Moroccan culinary artistry. Explore the rich flavors of Moroccan cuisine with this homemade ras el hanout recipe.

Ras el hanout Moroccan spice mix with the text How to blend your own ras el hanout

What is ras el hanout?

Literally translated ras al hanout means “head of the shop,” in Moroccan Arabic. (Ras = head and hanout = shop). The thing about this spice is that there isn’t a single way to make it. It’s uniqueness is that each spice shop has their own blend. Sometimes its the recipe that’s been handed down in the family and other times it’s their own creation.

Watching a shopkeeper make a ras el hanout spice mix is something special itself. If you do come to Morocco and want to bring some home, I highly recommend asking them to blend it fresh just so you can see the process.

You also may want to keep in mind that this spice can be pricy because it’s based on the use of a lot of different spices; some of which are expensive (for example if it uses saffron). You can buy pre-blended ras al hanout but if you want to try making your own it’s a fun project too.

Recipes using Ras el Hanout

As mentioned ras el hanout isn’t an everyday ingredient and a little bit goes a long way. I think that it’s too strong of a flavor to use with fish dishes that are light. But when paired with a protein like lamb it works better.

Ras al Hanout roasted carrots served on a white plate with fork and spoon

Ras al Hanout Roasted Carrots

Now that you know how to make ras el hanout, try adding this spice mix to carrots; it transforms them from something everyday into something a little special.

How to clean a coffee grinder from spices

For many enthusiasts, a coffee grinder becomes an indispensable tool in mixing your spices. However, the transition from spices back to coffee can pose a challenge, as residual flavors can linger. Fear not, though! We’ve uncovered a handy video guide on how to clean your coffee grinder, ensuring a seamless transition between your favorite spices and that perfect cup of morning brew.

Ras al Hanout Mix

Ras al Hanout Mix

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ras al hanout is a specialty Moroccan spice that is used to give dishes a pop. Whole seeds/roots work best for this but if you only have dry spices and herbs available it will work.


  • 1 inch piece dry ginger (2 teaspoons ground ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons ground mace
  • 1 piece cinnamon bark (1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 8-10 allspice berries (1 teaspoon ground allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper berries (1/2 tsp ground black pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper berries (1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 star anise pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6-8 cardamom pods (2 teaspoons dry cardamom)
  • 1/4 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 5-10 threads saffron
  • 3-5 dry rose bud petals


  1. Gather all of your ingredients.
  2. Toast the spices if you're using whole spices as follows;
  3. Preheat oven to 325F (165C) and prepare a baking sheet.
  4. Spread out all spices that are whole (except saffron and rose buds)
  5. Toast for 10 minutes checking half way through to mix slightly.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool approximately 10 additional minutes.
  7. Grind spices as well as rose petals and saffron using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. You may need to work in batches.
  8. Store ground spices in an air tight container until ready to use.


If you don't have all of these spices don't worry, you can adjust based on what you have. You also can play with the quantities. Add more of spices you like, reduce those you don't until you create your perfect spice blend too.

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