Like curry powders, there is no one recipe for Ras el Hanout, an outrageously aromatic spice blend with it’s roots coming from the Maghreb with influences from India. Perfect for tagines and a standard in Moroccan cooking. Interested? Let me show you how it’s made.
Excluding Egypt, the Maghreb is basically an area that encompasses the western North African countries and those bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Those countries include Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
This pungent spice blend has a lot of Indian influences as well namely coming from the ginger, cloves and cinnamon. The fun part is you make it yourself and know everything that goes into it. No MSG or added salt here, nope.
What makes this clearly a standout in aromatherapy for me, while purely being a spice blend for cooking, is the North African addition of the dried lavender and rosebuds. Delicate and perfumed, this spice blend is just outstanding.
Sounds intoxicating doesn’t it? I had to experiment with my own blend.
I like a little extra heat so bumped up the chiles for my own taste from several recipes I found.
While many of the recipes for this say to grind using a mortar and pestle I didn’t feel the need for a workout and popped everything in my Vitamix blender for instant gratification, but feel free to go for it if you choose.
This is so amazing, it’s almost like a potpourri, but definitely use as a spice in your next tagine recipe, dip, or with grilled meats. I sprinkled it on top of hummus as well, and while I enjoyed it, I find it’s use to be better suited in heated dishes. I hope you give this a try. I found most ingredients at Whole Foods, Sprouts and my neighborhood international market. Enjoy!
My friend Farida from Nutrizonia asked if the spices could be labeled so I made a new photo detailing each spice and herb below.
- 8 cardamom seeds
- 6 allspice berries
- 2 pieces cinnamon bark
- 2 dried red chiles
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp dried mint leaves
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tsp dried lavender
- 6 dried rosebuds
- In an electric blender grind together all of the ingredients to form a coarse powder.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.