This recipe comes from my Cooking Moroccan recipe book. Chermoula is both a marinade and a sauce and can be found in the cuisines of the North African countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Use it when making fish, seafood, grilled meat, slow cooked lamb and vegetables. Like most Moroccan condiments, chermoula uses preserved lemons. I think it would taste just as good using my preserved limes. Each region has its own unique take on this sauce.

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Recipe Category: Condiments
Makes enough for: 1 batch Chermoula
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • ½ preserved lemon, rind only - roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 5 g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 10 g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 30 mls lemon juice
  • 10 threads saffron
  • 2.5 mls paprika
  • 2.5 mls ground cumin
  • 0.625 mls cayenne pepper
  • 60 mls olive oil


  • place the lemon, garlic, parsley, coriander, lemon juice, saffron, paprika, cumin and cayenne into a food processor and grind to a coarse paste
  • gradually add the olive oil while processing until combined

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Ingredients for my chermoula:

  • Preserved lemons – I make my own as the recipe is so simple. Be sure if you make this yourself that you use un-waxed lemons, or scrub the wax off. If you buy these take a look to see that the lemons look good in the jar before you purchase them.
  • Garlic – be sure you buy firm cloves where the paper is white. If they sprout they are still OK to use. But if this bothers you then plant the cloves that have sprouted to grow your own.
  • Parsley – I always use flat leaf parsley in my recipe as I prefer the taste to that of curly parsley. As it is so easy to grow I have an abundance in my garden.
  • Coriander – this is an herb that divides people. The taste can be metallic and this is purely a genetic reaction. I find it essential to the recipe, but leave it out if you really cannot abide the taste.
  • Lemons – make sure you buy firm lemons, and they can still be a bit green when you buy them. If they are waxed be sure to scrub the skin before you take off the zest. I roll them firmly before cutting in half, and then use a juicer to crush all the juice out.
  • Saffron – there is no substitute in my opinion for saffron that will give you the same taste. If it is only the colour you are looking for then use turmeric.
  • Paprika – make sure your paprika has a nice red colour. And has a great scent. If not, toss it out. I use a variety of hot, sweet, smoked, depending on my mood.
  • Cayenne Pepper – make sure your cayenne has a nice red colour. And has a great scent. If not, toss it out.
  • Olive Oil – I only purchase extra virgin cold pressed oil and use this for all my recipes. I don’t buy the most expensive there is but I try to buy in bulk, in a tin to save money, and preserve the oil. If it smells rancid you need to throw it out. This could be due to exposure to sunlight.

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15 thoughts on “Chermoula

  1. Do you know how long preserved lemons keep? I want to make some, but am afraid of making too much and having in spoil.

    (My pear and almond bit is posted).

    1. I made a batch about 6 months ago and they are still perfect. I am about to make another batch with as many lemons as will fit into my jar. Enjoy 🙂

  2. Pingback: Regional and Seasonal « Lavender and Lime

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