Ras Al Hanout is a North African spice blend usually used in savory dishes. While there is no definitive combination of spices that make up the blend, common ingredients include clove, cinnamon, cardamom, ground chili peppers, coriander, paprika, cumin, fenugreek, peppercorn, and turmeric. To order Ras Al Hanout, check out Kalustyan’s online store.


Red palm oil is a cold-pressed oil derived from the fruit of the African oil palm. It is used extensively on that continent, in Brazil (where it arrived with the early African slaves), and elsewhere around the globe. It is a kitchen staple in Brazil, where it is called dende oil. Because of its high saturated fat content, health experts have long advised using it in moderation, but recently it has been touted for its high concentration of healthful nutrients.


Registered dieticians are certified in food and nutrition. This often involves earning a bachelors degree and then completing many hours of specific training. Most states have their own certification test that allows dieticians to become registered. Registered dieticians help individuals approach nutrition to lead a healthy lifestyle, correct a physiological problem, or promote overall health. For more information on registered dieticians, click here.


To render is to liquify or melt using the application of heat. Rendering is a common process used to cook down the hard fats of a meat.


Rhubarb is a red stalk vegetable that is often treated like a fruit and used in sweet recipes. On its own, rhubarb is very sour, and therefore it is usually combined with sugar in sauces or pies. Rhubarb can be bought at most major supermarkets or at produce markets.


Rice flour is rice that has been ground to a fine powder. Rice flour is usually made from white rice and therefore yields a white flour. It is often used as a thickening agent, but it can also be used to make doughs, crepes, and pancakes. Rice flour can be bought at some major supermarkets, or online.


Asian-style noodles made with rice flour. Rice sticks come in a variety of sizes and widths. They typically only need softening in hot water before they can be added to soups, summer rolls and other dishes.


Roasting is a method of cooking in which hot, dry air cooks the food. Roasting is almost always done in an oven, with the food uncovered.


A hot chili pepper that grows in Central America and northern and western South America.


Rolled oats (sometimes called old-fashioned oats) are steamed and then rolled flat. They take longer to cook than quick oats, but less time than steel cut oats.


Rooibos (red bush) tea is a tea made from the leaves of the South African rooibus plant. It reddish color develops during the fermentation process. Rooibos tea is highly prized for its lack of caffeine, its antioxidant properties, and other nutrients that it contains.


Candied rose petals are rose petals that have been hardened for decorative use. The most basic method is to “paint” them with egg white and dip them in sugar, but other more complex recipes call for making caramel first, or boiling the petals. Candied rose petals have long been favored by French pastry chefs as well as Indian candy makers. If you are ambitious, you can make them yourself, but DO NOT use petals that have been exposed to chemical pesticides.


Rose water is the liquid that remains after rose petals are processed with oil to make rose oil. It is used as a fragrance but is also a common flavoring in Middle Eastern and Central Asian dishes. It’s a Weiser Kitchen favorite.