MAKES 1/4 cup

Ras el Hanout (sounds like rahss el HA-nooT) originated in North Africa thousands of years ago and can include up to 100 individual spices. Each vendor in the market declares his blend to be the best and holds his recipe as a closely-guarded secret. Some people believe the seductive ingredients in Ras el Hanout produce an aphrodisiac. At the very least, any food you season with this exotic blend should inspire diners to kiss the cook.


• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1. Measure all of the spices into a medium bowl and mix with a fork until combined. Close your eyes, take a deep inhale through your nose, and imagine a market in Morocco.

2. Transfer the spice blend to an airtight container and apply liberally to your food whenever you need a quick getaway to an exotic land.

You know how you could do that?

Play around with the quantities of each spice to create your own unique blend, but remember, the goal is a nuanced flavor in which no single spice dominates.