Last Updated on July 7, 2020 by Chef Mireille
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Do you make your own spice blends?
Why not? It’s cheaper, fresher and you can customize it to your own palate!
5-10 minutes of your time and you will be loving your own homemade spice blends.
Ras el Hanout is a North African spice blend, used especially in Moroccan ciuisine.
For me, it’s pretty easy to get my hands on it. Half an hour away in Cobble Hill is Brooklyn’s Middle Eastern enclave or I can take the subway into Manhattan and visit one of our gourmet supermarkets like Fairway or Whole Foods. However, for people in other countries or in other US cities who aren’t lucky enough to live in such a diverse city, it might be challenging for you.
When I posted this recipe for Raz el Hanout Vegetable Saute & Saffron Couscous, a reader asked me what this tasted like and really it’s like a very mild curry powder.
Raz el Hanout means “head of the shop” in Arabic. Different spice merchants in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco will each have their own heavily guarded recipe. It’s a mixture of a variety of spices and herbs and can include up to 100 different ingredients, many of them only regionally available.
After consulting many sources, I came up with this recipe using ingredients that are more easily attainable.
Check out my IGTV episode to see how easy it is to put together homemade Ras el Hanout Spice Mix
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make your own Raz El Hanout Ingredients: 1 teaspoon mace 1 cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon fennel seed 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seed 5 green cardamom 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 4 small dried chillies 7 cloves 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon black onion seed 3 allspice berries 2 teaspoons dried mint 2 teaspoons dried cilantro 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 tablespoon dried rose 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
You may notice the homemade version has a deeper color than store bought versions, especially if it is an American brand. I have found the American brands are more a brighter yellow in color than this homemade version or the version I get from Middle Eastern markets.
I did a raw taste test with the store bought one I had received from someone. The one from the store had only 7 ingredients listed and was brighter yellow, however it was an American brand. Mine came out the color closer to the ones I see in the Middle Eastern markets.
Roast for a few minutes until fragrant. Leave to cool.
Using a coffee/spice grinder, grind with the turmeric, ginger, cilantro, parsley, mint and rose.
Need some ideas how to use Ras el Hanout – Moroccan Spice Blend?
Ras el Hanout Recipes
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Ras el Hanout – Moroccan Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon blades of mace
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 dried red chiles
- 7 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black onion seed/nigella
- 3 allspice berry
- 2 teaspoon dried mint
- 2 teaspoons dried cilantro
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried rose
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- In a dry skillet, roast mace, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, coriander, cloves, bay leaves, cardamom, peppercorns, onion seed, chile and allspice.
- Roast for a few minutes until fragrant. Cool for a few minutes.
- Using a coffee/spice grinder, grind with the turmeric, ginger, cilantro, parsley, mint and rose.
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The Pumpkin Farm
close first for me…this seems more than authentic…lovely thanks for sharing
Interesting combination of spices.
very flavorful and spicy spice mix !! thanks for sharing !!
Wow, that is one very flavorful spice mix. Thanks for posting the recipe Mir.
very flavorful n spicy powder…
Flavor ful & aromatic spice mix..
Wow that looks delicious.Brings back to the time Mom said store brought is store brought homemade is the best. Thnaks I will like to try this out.
Very flavorful spice mix, Mir.
Home made is always the best and this one sounds very nice to be added to veggie curried too
That's so new for me Mir, never heard of this, so thank you, it was good reading how to make this..
Very flavourful with so many spices. I get a suya spice mix from West Africa. This seems to be similar to that. We only add ground peanuts while using the suya spice.
I have never had suya but there is a peanut one from Senegal I make called Tankora but utilizes far less spices. Next I will have to try the suya.
Wow 100 ingredients..When I was reading, I thought how much you have used. But saw a good small list and was yes this is doable. I have most of the ingredients except 3, and would love to try this different mix and also flavour my curries using this.
Its so true that most readymade spices lack flavour and aroma. Even the colour differs. As for the raz el hanout such a flavorful spice mixture with so many spices. I’ve used it for a soup and salad and enjoy the flavours.
I agree when made at home we are not looking for efficiency and just for optimal flavor so it is always better.
This sounds so flavoursome, I would like to try this one with a dish from your blog. Thanks for sharing.
yes it will compliment many recipes I have on here 🙂
This is one delicious and flavoursome spice mix. Thanks for a such a flavoursome and aromatic spice mix.
sure it is very versatile and can be used with just about anything!
Such a flavourful masala.. I am sure it can be used in so many curries, pilafs too apart from it’s traditional use,
it would be great for curries for people who do not like too much chili
Use whole spices and roasting them before grinding them must really bring out the spice fragrances. Lovely combination of spices.
Yes the roasting definitely makes the spice blend more flavorful
such an aromatic spice blend. i always have it in my pantry. The aroma of roasted whole spices is always mesmerizing!!!
it is a great pantry staple as it can be used on so many things