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Chermoula Sauce

A North African sauce, traditionally paired with fish, chermoula is a delicious mix of fresh herbs, earthy spices, and acidic preserved lemon. I think it's fantastic with other dishes as well; I like to stir spoonfuls of this pungent sauce into soups and couscous, or serve it with chicken.
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: condiments, Moroccan, sauces
Servings: 20 servings
Author: Liberty


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon rind, chopped See Recipe
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (or 1 teaspoon harissa spice blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • Sprinkle the cumin seeds in a skillet and toast them over medium to high heat, stirring, until they smell fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor (or in a mortar and pestle), place the parsley, cilantro, garlic, pimentón, preserved lemon, olive oil, chili paste, salt, and toasted cumin. Blend or grind until smooth.
  • Taste and add some of the lemon juice. Adjust seasoning and add more salt, if needed; however, preserved lemons are salty, so be sure to check for seasoning. Add more olive oil, if necessary, until the sauce becomes a loose paste.
  • Store the chermoula, covered, in a nonreactive glass container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use chermoula as a marinade on chicken or seafood, and toss onto vegetables before roasting or grilling.

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