Spices at the market in Morocco

Ras el hanout recipe: how to make Moroccan spice mix

Moroccan cooking is known for its sweet, heady fragrance, hints of cinnamon and licorice, rounded off with a touch of warm chilli.

Ras el Hanout is the spice mix that gives Moroccan food that distinctive flavour. Every family has its own, closely guarded recipe, each with different spices and combinations.

Below is my recipe for Ras el Hanout. No doubt it will change over time, but this is my favourite version so far, and I have received very good feedback from every dish I’ve used it in. I like to toast the seeds first and I use a mortar and pestle to grind and combine the spices. Having their scents in the air is wonderful, and I really enjoy the process of combining them by hand.


  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cinnamon quill
  • 1/2 star anise


  1. 1
    Gently toast seeds, cinnamon, star anise etc.
  2. 2
  3. 3
    Add powdered spices and combine with mortar and pestle until smooth.
  4. 4
    Store in an air-tight container.

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Roxanne de Bruyn

Author - Roxanne de Bruyn

Roxanne is the founder and editor of Faraway Worlds. She is a freelance writer and guidebook author and has written for several travel publications, including Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor and The Culture Trip. With a background in communications, she has studied ancient history, comparative religion and international development, and has a particular interest in sustainable tourism.

Originally from South Africa, Roxanne has travelled widely and loves learning the stories of the places she visits. She enjoys cooking, dance and yoga, and usually travels with her husband and young son. She is based in New Zealand.

Last Updated 3 May 2022

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