This deeply flavoured Moroccan herb blend is almost always associated with seafood, particularly fish. Traditionally it is used as a marinade, in which the fish bastes, before it is baked or grilled. I have found however, that chermoula works just as well, or (gasp) even better as a spice rub for the fish before it is quickly pan-fried, resulting in a complexly flavoured crust similar to Cajun "blackening".

Either way, this enchanting blend is sure to become a favourite. It combines the delightfully camphorous flavour of coriander with the subtle herby flavour of parsley. Into the mix go spices such as cumin, turmeric and paprika, all of which are brought into harmony by lemon and olive oil. It is pure magic.

Don't be too tied down by tradition. I have also used chermoula as a marinade for poultry, particularly chicken, with fantastic results.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch flat leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • 1 Tbs chilli (hot pepper), ground
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Method

    Place all the ingredients, except the oil and lemon, into a food processor and whiz until they are thoroughly chopped. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream until it is well incorporated. Add the lemon juice and pulse to combine.

    To use; rub fish fillets or chicken breast fillets with the chermoula mixture and marinate for an hour or two. Heat a fry pan (skillet) to a very high heat, add a little oil, and then add the fish or chicken. Sear at this high heat until a nice crust forms. Turn over and repeat. Finish cooking in the oven if necessary.

    Or you can do as ariels does and serve the chermoula on the side.

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