If you are a regular here, I first need to apologize. I feel a little bad posting the recipe for my baked swordfish and asparagus with chermoula before I posted this recipe for the chermoula sauce in it. I’m afraid it’s just the way things worked out. But here it is! It’s such a delicious sauce and you can use it in much more than just one dish, so I felt it deserved a post on it’s own.
What is chermoula?
Chermoula is a North African sauce that is traditionally used with fish but these days you also see it with vegetables and grilled meat. The exact ingredients vary from one place to another, but they generally include cumin, lemon, garlic, cilantro/coriander and olive oil. Sometimes it is spicy, and some versions have other ingredients like onions. As you can probably get a sense of, though, it most definitely packs a flavor punch. Think of it a bit like chimichurri sauce or an Italian salsa verde, if you are more familiar with them, but with a more Moroccan-type of flavor.
I’ve called this a sauce but actually you can use it as a marinade as well, since it includes ingredients that really add flavor and help to tenderize. Apart from a bit of chopping, it’s really quick and easy to make as well, as you can see from this video:
My version here is a relatively common mix of ingredients, without being spicy. We all loved it, my kids included. We had it with the baked swordfish I shared recently, and for the kids, I mixed a little in with some baked salmon and couscous. Although they both went for the lentils we were eating, too.
As I say this sauce is packed with flavor and can really brighten up almost anything you use it with. I can see us having it on hand when we get into grilling in the summer. While it’s probably best fairly fresh (although it is worth letting it rest and the flavors mingle a bit), it also keeps a few days refrigerated.
So, mix up some tasty chermoula and give it a try – what will you try it on? Oh, and while I’m talking about using sauces to brighten things up, I’m excited to say I have a new e-book that you can get FREE if you sign up for my newsletter. You’ll then also get all the new recipes straight to your inbox – even better! Just sign up here:
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 cloves garlic (1tbsp roughly chopped)
- ½tsp salt
- 1tsp paprika
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
- 3tbsp chopped parsley
- 3tbsp olive oil
- Crush the cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar then tip them to add back in later.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Put it and the salt in the mortar and crush together to a paste. Add back the cumin along with the paprika, lemon juice, cilantro and parsley. Mix together and crush them with the pestle so they become well softened but still with some texture. Add the oil and stir through.
- While you can make this and use it immediately, it's best left to settle an hour or so before using.