Friday, August 24, 2007

Ras El Hanout

Ras El Hanout which translates into English as "The Head of the Store" is used in at least Morocco and Algeria. I have heard that Tunisia uses it as well.

I have found that every person who makes it by hand makes it differently. It isn't an exact recipe per say, in fact there are other ingredients that some cooks add and many herbs and spices that others leave. The blend that I liked the best was given to me by family in Southern Algeria, so it's hard to come by here in the States and some of the herbs and spices are not even available here.

Take a pinch or two of each herb and grind them together by hand or blender and store in an airtight jar.

Of course you could always go to Amazon and buy a jar of it, see if you like that and attempt to recreate it to suite your own personal preference.

Whole Nutmeg
Whole Mace
Whole Star Anise
Turmeric Powder
Dried Ginger
Whole Allspice
Green Cardamon Pods
Saffron Threads
Fennel Seeds
Dried Rose Buds
Whole Cloves
Black Pepper Corns
White pepper Corns
Caraway Powder
Coriander Powder
Cumin Seeds
Celery Seeds
Dill Seeds
Dried Elderberry
Feenugreek Seeds
Dried Orris Root
Dried Lavender
Allspice Berries
Black Seeds or Nigella Sativa Seeds
Dried Blue Ginger, Galangal or Chinese Ginger
Melegutta pepper, Alligator Pepper, Grains of Paradise or Guinea Pepper

If one doesn't have these spices a pinch of cumin, paprika, and caraway will suffice! LOL


  1. lol, jamila, that's quite the ingredient list -- i've seen many variations for this, most of them with lists as long as your arm. i've never even seen orris root and grains of paradise except in pictures. i guess like most spice concoctions, depends on who is blending them and where they come from; each country has its own twist.

  2. ;-) That's funny! You know my family in Algeria told me some of their ingredients that I just have never even seen here in the States so I can just forget about buying it! :-)


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