What is Ras el Hanout?

Ras el Hanout Spice Mix

What is Ras el Hanout?

Ras el Hanout is a Middle Eastern spice blend used in tagines, soups, rice dishes, and on vegetables. In Arabic, Ras el Hanout means "head of the shop", a phrase that basically means top-shelf, signifying that this spice blend is the best thing in the shop. 

There isn't really one traditional Ras el Hanout recipe - many families and shops have their own blend that they consider the best. Mixtures often contain over a dozen spices! Ras el Hanout ingredients usually include ginger, coriander, and cardamom and often include allspice, cumin, chili peppers, clove, cinnamon, fenugreek, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorn, and turmeric.

Ras el Hanout Recipes

Vegan Lentil Soup with Ras el Hanout from This Healthy Table

Want to use Ras el Hanout in some creative and delicious recipes? Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Make your own Ras el Hanout Spice Blend

There are hundreds of recipes for Ras el Hanout, but here's my favorite way to make it. 

Yield: about 1/3 cup

Ras el Hanout Spice Mix

Ras el Hanout is a Middle Eastern spice blend used in tagines, soup, rice dishes, and on vegetables.

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 4 MINStotal time: 14 mins


  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried rose petals
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon allspice


  1. In a small skillet, over medium-low heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds. 
  2. Transfer the coriander and cumin seeds, along with the red pepper flakes, to a spice mill or mortar and grind into a fine texture.
  3. Add the ground coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Add the remaining spices and stir till fully combined.
  4. Can be saved up to one month in an airtight container.


If you don't have a spice mill or mortar and pestle, you can use ground coriander and ground cumin and skip the toasting step. Or, use your coffee grinder to blend the spices!

Where to buy Ras el Hanout

You can buy Ras el Hanout online from The Spice House. 

Ras el Hanout Substitute

Can't get your hands on Ras el Hanout? If you're pressed on time and don't have time to make up a batch of Ras el Hanout or get to a spice store to buy it, you can use coriander, saffron, or a mixture of paprika, cumin, and ground ginger. If you want to use another spice blend in its place, baharat is a good choice.

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