chermoula marinade

Moroccan Chermoula Marinade


Chermoula is an ancient but fashionable marinade, which varies in ingredient content from one Moroccan kitchen to the next. It will always feature the ultimate marinade triumvirate of garlic, lemon and olive oil and most chermoulas involved chopped herbs. However, we prefer to throw stacks of chopped herbs over the food with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice after grilling for maximum impact of freshness and flavour. This fantastic marinade is great with prawns, fish and all birds, but is notably good with lamb, which we finish with a scattering of pomegranate seeds.

Makes 150ml for 1kg of fish or meat.

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 10cm stick cinnamon or 2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 thick parsley stalks, finely chopped
  • 6 thick coriander stalks finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground sumac or zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tbsp mild paprika
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To add after cooking

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander

To Make

Heat a frying pan on the hop and dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds with the cinnamon stick until aromatic. Grind with a pestle and mortar, or in a spice grinder. Then either put all the ingredients in a blender and whiz them up, or pummel the whole lot in the pestle and mortar, adding one ingredient at a time in the above order. Keeps well, refrigerated, for a week.