Recipe: Spicy Moroccan Chermoula Sauce

Chermoula is a  distinctive Moroccan paste or thick sauce made of garlic and  Mediterranean spices.  Chermoula is used to marinate all types of fish. It can also be used to give depth to vegetable dishes. There are many varieties of chermoula. All you need is a blender or food processer(even a mortar and pestle will do) and fresh ingredients. Feel free to experiment and come up with your own variations depending upon what you have in the kitchen. Chermoula is rich in protective anticancer and heart healthy phytochemicals and sulphur rich garlic which not only supports detoxification, but also promotes the growth of healthy friendly bacteria in the intestines, essential to normal immunity, hormone clearance and healthy cholesterol levels.

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Ottalenghi Simple Chermoula

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (or 1/2 teapsoon ground cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon peel (if you cannot find this, you can substitute fresh lemon peel, preferably from a thin skinned Meyer of course)
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To make this chermoula, mix together in a small bowl  or food processor the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili, paprika, lemon, two-thirds of the olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to form a thick paste.  Add more olive oil to achieve desired consistency.

adapted from the cookbook Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottalenghi

Hot Spicy Chermoula by Claudia Roden

  • 1 large bunch, 2/3 cup Cilantro ( Fresh Coriander) chopped


    Chermoula-3 (Photo credit: Emily Barney)

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili or cayenne powder (optional)
  • 6 Tablespoons Exra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon or 3 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
  • Blend all of the ingredients in food processor.
  • Use half to marinate fish or vegetables before cooking. Use the other half as a sauce just before serving.

Adapted from Mediterranean Cooking: 150 Vegetarian and Seafood Recipes, Claudia Roden