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Spices at the market in Morocco
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Ras el hanout – Moroccan spice mix

Last updated 9 November 2020

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.

Ras el Hanout spices:

  • 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. Gently toast seeds, cinnamon, star anise etc.

  2. Grind.

  3. Add powdered spices and combine with mortar and pestle until smooth.

  4. Store in an air-tight container.

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