The below discussion of Ras El Hanout, was contributed by my husband Randy. (Recipe by me at the bottom). Enjoy!
"      Ras El Hanout is a spice mixture of North African Origin. The name is Arabic and translates as "Head of the Shop" or "Top of the Shop." I've heard two equally logical explanations for the name. One is that it is similar to the phrase "top shelf" as might be used to indicate the highest quality available. The other explanation was that the concoction was the personal recipe of the proud shop owner.
That second definition brings me to a confession: I am not going to give you my recipe! Why? Is it my trade secret? Nope. Is it full of innumerable exotic ingredients that the average home cook can't obtain? Rarely. The truth is, were you to show up for my house some evening when I was cooking a tagine, I would likely have no clue exactly how much of which spices I'd used for this particular batch. I like to grind many of my own spices (coriander, cumin, cardamom, for example). I usually realize that I'm running short or even out of Ras el Hanout when I reach for the jar! So I use up whatever is left, then grind up and mix another batch, influenced by the style of the current dish. I might omit an ingredient, or increase the proportion of another. I might grind the coriander a bit rougher. Am I making lamb with prunes? A bit more cinnamon! Chicken with green olives and preserved lemon? More cumin! Rose petals! If I don't end up using all my new mix, it goes into the jar as the base of the next batch.
It's also easy to adjust the seasoning as you're cooking. Most powdered spices will quickly blend into the dish. Allow a bit longer for fresh-grated or rough-ground ingredients to marry. Its particularly useful to be judicious about the initial cayenne dose -- you can always add a pinch at the end or offer it at table so each diner can choose their preferred heat level. And I'm sure Asia will eventually wax poetic about harissa . . .
Some ingredients, such as ginger, can be grated fresh into the cooking pot. If you have pesticide-free roses available, pick a partially open bud, give it a rinse and an inspection for six- or eight-legged hitch-hikers, then pull off and discard the green calyx from the petals, stamens and pistils. Chiffonade (slice the still-rolled flower into strips) and add during the last 10 minutes or so of cooking. The perfume and flavor are subtle but when mixed with the symphony of scents from the other spices it can induce hallucinations of strolling through a Maghreb souk.

Here's a partial list of my favorite ingredients in rough order of proportion I might use, were I to include them all in a single mix.
Coriander seed
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Dried mint
Dried parsley
Ginger (fresh or powder)
Rose petals (fresh or dried)
Turmeric (freshly grated or powder)
Okay, since Randy didn't give you a recipe, and most of you are probably not experts in the blending of North African Spice Mixes, here is my recipe.

Ras El Hanout

1 tablespoon coriander seed powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon ground black pepper (freshly ground is superb)
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika powder (do not use smoked paprika)

1 tablespoon dried mint flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
2 teaspoon rose petal flakes

1/2 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all ingredients in a jar or other container. With the herb flakes, I often like to give them a short pulse in a spice grinder (or very clean coffee grinder) to break them up just a little more. Doing this helps your mixture stay together better (avoiding vigorous banging and shaking each time you use it if it has settled for a while).



I used this for lamb loin chops I made in my Sou Vide machine and it was fantastic. Best lamb I've ever made. And I'm really good at making lamb. Slight modification though. Didn't add the ground clove, figured the allspice was enough, and it definitely was for my and my wife's taste. I patted them dry, lightly salted them, brought them to room temp, rubbed em down with the Ras El Hanout, tossed em in the zip lock, tossed 6 halved mission figs in too, water immersed them at 135 degrees for 2.5-3 hours, then seared at high heat in cast iron for about 30 seconds a side, poured the figs in the pan to deglaze, then spoon it over the chops. Literally, fantastic. So good.

10/11/2016 4:06pm

I am glad it turned out! I personally like the clove, but I am glad that you adjusted it to your taste, since that is exactly how this recipe was intended. Have fun cooking!


Hello, Asia! First and foremost, I wanted to thank you for posting this recipe. I noticed that its name is kind of unique and will not be heard on an everyday basis that's why I was a bit hesitant at first to read it. Looking at the recipes made me droll! Some cannot be seen in ordinary supermarkets. That's why I can sense that this is a high-end dish. But if I will have the time and budget of course, I'll try this one!

02/03/2017 12:35am

Thank you so much for the ingredients! I will surely keep this article as my reference. I would like to thank you as well for the instructions you have indicated above as well. This is really helpful! Please do keep us updated with the other recipes as well! Thank you again and have a nice day!

10/01/2016 12:50pm

It's a good recipe. I will try to make this amazing dish. Thanks.

08/24/2017 6:45pm

Obviously, its name is very unique and people may not know it yet. But as what Miss Asia is saying, its taste will surprise you as it has something great to offer! I wanted to try this recipe and have it shared to my friends. I can feel that they swill like this one. Because aside from the fact that it sounds so nice, the ingredients are all affordable! I'll update you very soon!

12/28/2016 12:53am

I really love this recipe. Whenever my friends are here in my condo unit, I always serve this dish with them. They always love to watch me cooking this recipe. They said they enjoyed how I tossed it in the zip lock. Trust me, it's very delicious.

01/18/2017 12:02pm

I love this spice and especially like to use it when I cook chicken with raisins and apples. I love the mix of savory and sweet! I tend to mix my own just because I like having a fresh amount in small batches, though I will say that some of those added exotic ingredients have me intrigued! I kept making it because it became a secret ingredient when I make a chicken dish.

09/27/2017 12:07am

I liked that blog's title.


Would love to see more posts like this.

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