Metal bowl of Ras el Hanout with spoon alongside

Ras el Hanout is a spice blend common in North African cooking and features especially heavily in Moroccan cuisine. The name in Arabic means "head of the shop," and literally refers to the best spices the store has to offer.

Known as “Top of the Shop”, there is no single recipe or blend to this Middle Eastern mixture of spices however, a common base includes:

  • cardamom 
  • cumin 
  • clove 
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • mace

The rest the ingredients are a chance for market stall and spice shop owners to show off their family pride and tradition as well as the wealth of their experience and range.


This blend of spices is used throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East in a range of ways. As a powdered blend, it is perfect to be used as a rub for various meats as each spice brings out the best of all flavours. It can be stirred into boiling pots of couscous or rice to add a little extra kick to a meal. There is also a sweetness from the cinnamon and nutmeg which means that it can be stirred in to warm up a breakfast of yoghurt and nuts.

Why don't you pick up a pot of our Moroccan Spiced Chicken soup and see if you can identify our own secret blend of traditional spices?