Ras el Hanout ~ Top Shelf Spice Mix

Spice blends like Ras el Hanout are an important part of Middle Eastern cookery.

This Arabic spice mix of Ras el Hanout translates to Top Shelf Spice Mix and hails to us from the city of Blida, Algeria. It’s a complex, aromatic spice blend that’s famously associated with North African cuisine.

How to Use Ras el Hanout Spice Mix

It’s used in many savory dishes from North Africa, sometimes rubbed on meat or fish, or stirred into couscous(the national dish), pasta, or rice. However, we wrote this recipe to accompany a Berber Pizza recipe (coming soon).

How to Store Ras el Hanout Spice Mix

Store your Ras el Hanout Spice Mix in an airtight spice jar in a cool dark area of the kitchen, your spice pantry. Ground spices lose their freshness the quickest and typically don’t last past six months. The best freshness test for ground spices is to give them a whiff — if they smell like nothing, then it’s time to say goodbye.

History of Ras el Hanout

The blend has its origins way back in Algerian history. When Carthage ruled North Africa the country was a crucial gateway by which goods flowed from Africa to Europe. Algerias’ importance in the spice trade brought in spices from all over the world and was assimilated into its food culture.

The City of Blida, Algeria

Blida is a city in Algeria and the capital of Blida Province. Located about 45 km southwest of Algiers, the national capital, it’s known as the city of roses because of the large number of roses in its gardens. The city is surrounded by orchards and gardens. The Oued el Kebir river provides power for large corn mills, and several factories and also supplies the town with its numerous fountains and irrigated gardens.

A Brief History of Blida, Algeria

The city occupies the site of a military station in the time of the Romans, but the present town appears to date from the 16th century, in which it was founded, according to Baedeker, by Moors. A mosque was built by order of Khair-ed-din Barbarossa, and under the Turks, the town was of some importance.

In 1825 it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake but was speedily re-erected on a site about a mile distant from the ruins. It was intricately rebuilt with interconnecting alleyways and streets and was made accessible through the existing six major gates. The gates were as follows:

  • Bab Er-Rahba
  • Bab Ed-Zair
  • Bab El-Khouikha
  • Bab Es-Sebt
  • Bab Ez-Zaouia
  • Bab El-Kbour
  • Bab El-Kseb

Today the gates no longer exist, but their names are still in use by people in Blida as reference points to locate streets, places, schools, and businesses.

Tourism in Blida, Algeria

At the base of the Atlas Mountains, near the Mitidja plain, is the small city of Blida characterized by its architectural character designed according to French standards. Among the most important destinations are the orchards surrounding the city planted with oranges, Wadi Sharm Al-Kabeer, the Grand Mosque, the gates of the old city, Bab Al-Rahba, Bab Al-Zeer, and many other distinctive landmarks.

Algerian Cuisine

Algerian cuisine offers a variety of dishes depending on the region and the season, most are centered around bread, meats (lamb, beef, or poultry), olive oil, vegetables, and fresh herbs. Vegetables are often used for salads, soups, tajines, couscous, and sauce-based dishes. Of all the Algerian traditional dishes available, the most famous one is Couscous, recognized as a national dish.

Pork consumption is forbidden to Muslims in Algeria, in accordance with Sharia, the Islamic law.

Dahas Shop
FR87+G53, Blida, Algeria

Dahas Shop
Dahas Shop

This little Mom & Pop Shop doesn’t have any online representation save a Google Map Pin. It’s one of those gems that can only be found when you truly want to Taste the World. So if you are in Blida, stop in and grab a bottle of Ras El Hanout Spice Mix, it will be kept on the Top Shelf.

How to Make This Ras El Hanout Spice Mix Recipe

This mix is quick and easy. All of the ingredients are widely available and easy to find. Use a clean spice jar to store the mix in your spice pantry.

What You Needed to Make Ras El Hanout Spice Mix

Ingredients for Ras El Hanout ~ Top Shelf Spice Mix
Ingredients for Ras El Hanout ~ Top Shelf Spice Mix

Equipment Needed

  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Spice Jar

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Time needed: 5 minutes.

How to Mix Ras El Hanout Spice Mix

  1. Mix

    In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well.

  2. Store

    Store in an airtight container. Good for about 6 months or until it loses its smell.

If you liked this dish please Rate This Recipe and leave a comment.

Ras El Hanout ~ Top Shelf Spice Mix

Ras El Hanout ~ Top Shelf Spice Mix

Recipe Author | Captain Cook
The savory spice makes an excellent addition to lamb burgers and roasted chicken as well.

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Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Algerian
Servings 8 Teaspoons
Calories 5 kcal



  • In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well.
    1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp salt, ¾ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp ground allspice, ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • The spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 6 months or until the spice loses its smell.


Serving: 1tspCalories: 5kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.28gFat: 2gSodium: 292mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.1g
Keyword Spice Mix
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Other Recipes to Make With Ras El Hanout ~ Top Shelf Spice Mix

We published this recipe specifically to be used in our Berber Pizza recipe. However, it can be used in many other North African recipes.

Photo Credits:

  • By Taste The World Cookbook – Copyright 2022 All rights reserved.
  • By Sif eddine Brahimi – Copyright BY https://www.facebook.com/people/Brahimi-Sif-Eddine/100008710748354/
  • By Blida City from Blida, Algérie (DZ) – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33354931
  • By habib kaki, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54691568
  • By Habib kaki – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32940646
  • By Bachir blidi at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2732997
  • By Raspynat1234 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=114031808
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Captain Cook
Captain Cookhttps://notallwhowanderarelost.com/
If you strip away the labels and isms and meta tags, what are you left with? Are you strong and free enough as an individual to survive the loss of all those crutches and maintain reason and meaning? Can you use the power of thought and choice to walk the road of life?
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