A bright, garlicky herb sauce from North Africa, chermoula is often used as a marinade or an accompaniment for grilled seafood, but, in fact, it's an endlessly versatile condiment. Serve it with roasted leg of lamb, stir it into couscous, slather it on roasted cauliflower, or toss it with chickpeas and shredded carrots for a quick salad. We like the subtle, bitter taste of saffron here, but it can be omitted.

Photo: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine
Total Time:
15 mins
1 cup


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint

  • 1/4 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and rind coarsely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 3 saffron threads (optional)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  1. In a small skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool. Pulse until finely ground.

  2. In a food processor, combine the ground seeds with the cilantro, parsley, mint, preserved lemon, garlic, paprika, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and saffron, if desired. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Scrape the chermoula into a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead

The chermoula can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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