Imagine this: a bright, garlicky herb sauce, with warm toasted spices, fresh lemons, and a slight bit of heat. That’s chermoula in a nut shell.
This North African condiment is so versatile, it can be added to any number of dishes to quickly amp up flavor!
We love that it’s made in a food processor and can be used not just as a dip or finishing sauce, but also as a marinade. If you’re looking to broaden your palette and are unfamiliar with chermoula, highly recommend this adapted version from Eden Grishpan!
What Is Chermoula?
Chermoula is at its core an herb sauce. It originates from Morocco and is deeply flavored with a ton of fresh herbs, toasted spices, garlic, and fresh lemon juice.
This sauce is definitely common in Morrocan food (a cuisine I became intimately familiar with during my grad school days — Amanouz, I love and miss you!), but not everyone has access to that. When I received a copy of Eden Grinshpan’s Eating Out Loud and read her recipe featuring aleppo pepper, I ran to my kitchen to play around, adapting the recipe with what I had on hand. (Honestly, just buy the book. Everything inside sounds amazing!)
Don’t skip the aleppo pepper! It really adds a unique flavor.
Everything I’ve read has indicated that this zesty sauce is often used as a topping for seafood or grilled fish, but we have been enjoying this over potatoes and meat, and my god is it stellar. So much flavor.
Okay, who’s ready to make chermoula?!
Ingredients for Chermoula
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh parsley
- Cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
- Coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground
- Aleppo pepper
- Sweet paprika
- Kosher salt
- Fresh lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
If you’ve got a food processor, grab that too.
Let’s Make It!
- First, begin by toasting whole cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and grind with pestle. Alternatively, you can place the seeds in a spice grinder or in a large Ziploc bag, securely seal, then crush until finely ground.
- Place fresh cilantro, parsley, garlic, aleppo pepper, paprika, kosher salt, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment along with toasted, ground spices. Process until very finely chopped.
- With the motor running, stream in the olive oil, scraping down the sides as needed.
Congratulations, you’ve just made chermoula sauce!
How Long Will Chermoula Sauce Keep?
Chermoula will keep in an airtight, sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using and serve on anything and everything that could use a burst of flavor!
Ways To Use Chermoula
There are endless ways to use chermoula! Just as you would add pesto, zhug, or toum to a variety of dishes to add flavor, you can add this to a variety of recipes!
Serve on: grilled chicken, fish, steak (just like you might enjoy with chimichurri!), over hummus, roasted eggplant, literally any and all vegetables.
Mix it into: rice, couscous, pasta, or any other grain!
The bright, zesty flavor and mild heat make this the perfect finishing touch to so many otherwise simple dishes. Check it out, give it a try, and let us know if you love it as much as we do!
If you make Chermoula, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below.
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For more recipes, check out the following:
- Tandoori roasted carrots
- Grilled chicken wings
- Roast rack of lamb
- How to roast chickpeas
- (Not Quite Kofta) lamb meatballs
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin seeds toasted and finely ground
- 1 tsp coriander seeds toasted and finely ground
- 2 tsp aleppo pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine 1 cup cilantro leaves, 1 cup parsley leaves, 4 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp aleppo pepper, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp paprika in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Process until finely chopped.
- With the motor running, stream in ½ cup olive oil until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed. Serve immediately or leave at room temperature if using that day. Store in refrigerator in a sealed container if not using day of.
- Sauce will keep in an airtight, sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.
Let us know your thoughts!