Ras El Hanout

Recipe by French Terrine
YIELD: 3/4 cup




  • Heat a small skillet over moderate heat. When hot, add white peppercorns, aniseed, cumin seed, coriander, cloves, and allspice berries. Stir constantly until fragrant and oils are released (only a few minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool in a separate bowl.
  • Husk the cardamom pods, reserving the fragrant seeds. I love the flavor of cardamom, so I use more than what Paula Wolfert recommends above.
  • Remove seeds and veins from dried chipotles and break apart.
  • Break up nutmeg in a mortar and pestle.
  • Once peppercorns, aniseed, cumin seed, coriander, cloves, and allspice berries have cooled, combine with remaining ingredients in a spice grinder and grind all together until fine. A coffee grinder works well, but then you will not want to grind coffee in it anymore. Even Alton Brown believes in having a separate grinder dedicated to the grinding of spices.
  • Sift through a strainer to remove fibers from galangale, turmeric, ginger and any pieces that just do not grind.
  • Store in a glass jar under regrigeration.
  • A typical slather to make is to combine 1 Tbsp of this blend with 1 Tbsp of Spanish smoked paprika. Crush at least one large clove of garlic into a paste with Kosher salt. Combine with the paprika and Ras, then add olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Slather over chicken, lamb, or fish and roast until done.