Ras el Hanout (North African Spice Mix)

This piquant North African spice mix, whose name means "top of the shop" in Arabic, is used in virtually every dish from that region, including the Moroccan mrouzia, honey-braised lamb shanks. This recipe first appeared in our November 2012 issue along with Jay Cheshes's story Couscous Royale.


  • 3 tbsp. whole allspice
  • 3 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp. whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 5 sticks cinnamon, broken into 1" pieces
  • 2 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 12 tbsp. ground cayenne


Step 1

Working in batches, grind allspice, peppercorns, coriander, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon separately in a spice grinder until finely ground; transfer spices to a bowl, and stir in ginger and cayenne. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

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