ras el hanout


ras el ha·​nout ˌräs-ˌel-hə-ˈnüt How to pronounce ras el hanout (audio)
variants or less commonly ras-el-hanout
: a mixture of ground spices that is used in northern African cooking and includes coriander, ginger, turmeric, peppercorns, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and other spices
… just like curry powder, there is no single recipe for ras el hanout. You might even say that's its whole point.Mourad Lahlou
Nargisse Benkabou's recipe combines lamb shanks with a syrupy sauce of honey and raisins, seasoned with saffron and ras el hanout.The New York Times
This is a pure North African dish of lamb marinated in ras-el-hanout (a medley of spices) …Kaleel Sakakeeny

Examples of ras el hanout in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stir in different spices like cardamom or ras el hanout and add your choice of toppings or mix-ins. Genevieve Ko, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2024 The spice list is an extreme abbreviation of ras el hanout, which is a North African staple blend comprising a lengthy list of spices — upward of 20! Lynda Balslev, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 Enhance it with apricots and prunes and some ras el hanout — that wonderfully heady Moroccan spice mix. Julie Giuffrida, Los Angeles Times, 3 Dec. 2023 The first group consists of standards like ras el hanout, Chinese five spice, French quatre-épices, garam masala and even Old Bay. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2023 Simply rub boneless chicken thighs with a homemade ras el hanout spice blend and cook. Kristy Alpert, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 June 2023 Set the skillet over medium and add the garlic and remaining 2 teaspoons ras el hanout. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Feb. 2021 The filo pastry savory is flavored with the spice blend ras el hanout, apricots, chile, orange zest and almonds before being sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar. Angus MacKinnon, CNN, 3 Apr. 2023 In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, ras el hanout, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Lisa Holderness Brown, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ras el hanout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Arabic raʼs al-ḥānūt, literally, "head of the shop," i.e., a mix of a shop's choicest spices

First Known Use

1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ras el hanout was in 1876

Dictionary Entries Near ras el hanout

Cite this Entry

“Ras el hanout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ras%20el%20hanout. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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