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. Slideshow: More North African Recipes 

Anna Painter


Credit: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Recipe Summary

15 mins
1 cup


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.