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Ras el hanout (Arabic:رأس الحانوت) is a popular blend of herbs and spices is used across the Middle East and North Africa. The name means “head of the shop” in Arabic, and refers to a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer.
There is no set combination of spices that makes up Ras el Hanout, but most versions contain over a dozen spices, including cardamom, mace (spice), nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground chili peppers. Some recipes include over one hundred ingredients, some quite unusual, such as ash berries, chufa, Grains of Paradise, orris root, Monk’s pepper, cubebs, dried rosebud, and the potentially toxic belladonna and insects such as the beetle known as Spanish fly (however, the sale of Spanish fly was banned in the spice markets of Morocco in the 1990s). Usually all ingredients are toasted and then ground up together. Individual recipes are often improvised.
Ras el hanout is used in pastilla, the Moroccan squab/young pigeon and almond pastie, is sometimes rubbed on meats, and stirred into couscous or rice. It is often believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Adjika • Advieh • Afghanistani spice rub • Berbere • Bouquet garni • Buknu • Chaat masala • Chaunk • Chermoula • Chili powder • Curry powder • Djahe • Fines herbes • Five-spice powder • Garam masala • Garlic salt • Harissa • Herbes de Provence • Jerk spice • Khmeli suneli • Lemon pepper • Masala • Masuman • Mitmita • Mixed spice • Mrs. Dash • Niter kibbeh • Old Bay Seasoning • Panch phoron • Pumpkin pie spice • Quatre épices • Ras el hanout • Recado rojo • Shake ‘N’ Bake • Sharena sol • Shichimi • Spice mix • Spice rub • Tajín • Tandoori masala • Tony Chachere’s • Za’atar
Categories: Herb and spice mixtures | Moroccan cuisine | Arab cuisine | Mediterranean cuisine | African cuisine | Food ingredient stubs