Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Chermoula is a north African paste that at it's most basic form is a combination of parsley, coriander, onion and garlic. It's deliciously fragrant and fresh tasting and a perfect compliment to fish. Although, it's also well suited for use with vegetables and other meats.

This particular version is from Neil Perry - which is probably Australia's most "eaten" chef - well, he is responsible for the food that is served on Qantas flights amongst his restaurant involvements. In regard to Chermoula, Neil's view is that you should just take the recipe as a "servant" and adapt the flavourings to your particular tastes. Don't be afraid to substitute the spices and herbs. I particularly like this version for it's depth of flavour but I do tend to modify some of the spice levels depending on the meat I'll be using.

chermoula© by haalo


1 red onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
90g coriander, including stalks, washed and roughly chopped
150g Italian parsley, including stalks, washed and roughly chopped
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1½ tablespoons ground chilli
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1½ tablespoons ras el hanout
185ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Put all the ingredients except olive oil and lemon in processor and blend for a minute, or until the mix is finely chopped. Drizzle in the oil slowly, until a thick paste forms. Stir through the lemon juice.

Refrigerate under a film of olive oil until ready to use (to stop discolouration).

This makes about 2 cups of Chermoula.

As a rough guideline, for marinating 500g of meat I would use about a third to a half a cup of Chermoula.


  1. I don't think I've ever had this, although I've heard of it. Sounds wonderful.

  2. Hi Kalyn

    It's has quite a different taste - I find it alot fresher and lighter than a curry but still has those lovely spice notes. You can use it as a marinade - an hour or so should be enough to impart the flavour.

  3. I've never heard of this either, but the ingredients sound like it makes a fantastic flavor.
    One question, though. What is ras el hanout?

  4. Hi Fiber

    Ras el Hanout is a spice blend from North Africa - it's not really something you can make yourself. Here in Australia I used the Peter Watson brand - it's made from bay leaves, thyme, black peppercorns, nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, ground mace, cardamom, ginger, cumin seeds, allspice, turmeric, aniseed and cayenne.
    You could probably imagine that from a large list of ingredients it has a rather complex flavour.
    If you have trouble finding it you can just leave it out.

  5. I can imagine this is a pretty tasty chicken maranade. Now I just have to find ras el hanout, and I'm set :)

  6. Here's a link to a fantastic herb and spice shop in Sydney, and they deliver all worldwide (incliding Ras el Hanout - the "King of the Spicesop")

    It's run by Iain and Elizabeth Hemphill who have been well known in the herb trade (in Oz) for aeons.

  7. Hi Anon - Herbies are an excellent supplier but I've not used their Ras el Hanout.


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