Ras Al Hanout means “top of the shop” in Arabic. Merchants would develop their own blends to compete for their customer’s loyalty. As with many other long standing spice blends, you’ll probably never find two that are the same. Poke through your spice cabinet and you will probably find that you have most of what you need already. You don’t need to have everything, and you can add as you go. There are few rules, but to get the traditional flavour profile, you need to have paprika, hot or sweet, or both, as you like it, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, cardamom and coriander, cloves and nutmeg. From there, you can dig into the background ras al hanout and come up with your own signature blend.
Ras Al Hanout
Use ras al hanout in your favourite North African recipes, or give your everyday meatloaf, chicken pieces, hamburgers, or mac and cheese a boost!
- 2 tsp paprika (sweet, hot or a mixture of both)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp mace or nutmeg
- 8 whole cloves
Use a mortar and pestle or a coffee mill to grind the whole spices into a fine powder. Mix with the other ground spices. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.