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How do I make a chermoula spice paste ?

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How do I make a chermoula spice paste ?

Moroccan Fish Chermoula

A classic north African spice paste, chermoula is used as both a condiment and a marinade. Regional and family blends of the different spices vary greatly, but the core ingredients of coriander, parsley leaves, onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt are very typical to most chermoula recipes.

Chermoula is often used to season a firm full flavoured fish like tuna or swordfish, but works well with chicken or lamb. The chermoula paste is usually rubbed onto the outside of the meat or fish before barbecuing, or served as a condiment similar to a dip or salsa.

The paste is made by mixing the spice mix with lemon juice and olive oil, and will keep for up to 2 days if refrigerated. For best results the dry spice mix can be stored in an airtight container out of direct light, and mixed with the liquid ingredients into a paste just before use.

Our favourite chermoula paste recipe is below, feel free to experiment with the ingredients, and find the proportions and balance in the mix that appeals to you :

Ingredients :

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground pepper

4 garlic cloves

2 cups chopped Italian parsley

2 cups chopped coriander leaves

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup olive oil

In a small pan on a medium heat, dry fry the coriander seed until it releases its flavour being careful not to burn. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, and paprika and quickly heat for a short time 10 to 15 seconds until fragrant. Be careful especially with the paprika as it burns easily.

Remove from the heat and pour the spice mix into a blender, spice mill, or mortar. Add the fresh herbs and crushed garlic cloves, and season with salt and ground pepper and grind into a course powder.

Add the lemon juice and oil, and blend or grind into a paste. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before using.



 

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