Chermoula sauce ; a spicy Moroccan sauce made with cumin , garlic, parsley, cilantro, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice, and olive oil. Sometimes saffron is included as well. Chermoula is traditionally served with meats but pairs well with chicken lamb or duck. The mixture is sometimes thickened with yogurt cheese (well-drained yogurt).
Chermoula is also used as a dry rub and marinade for lamb, fish, or chicken. To use it as a rub, coat the meat and allow it to stand in a cool location for 1 hour then grill the meat. Fine Cooking has a good recipe for making your own dry chermoula spice blend. The wet version is also used as a condiment and spread on meats after they are cooked.
Thick versus thin chermula. Some recipes produce a thick paste similar to pesto sauce and other times you'll see the sauce thin and quite oily looking. The thicker paste is usually used as a rub while the thinner version is used more like a condiment.
This sauce is easy to make, see the recipe for Chermoula Sauce below. I love to serve this over simple grilled halibut steaks.
There are probably as many recipes for chermoula sauce as there are Moroccans. Typically you'll want to make this sauce and use it right away but you can store in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
You can use a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Either pound or process the cilantro, sesame seeds and garlic until coarsely chopped. If using a processor, while the motor is running slowly add the oil then blend until the mixture is smooth. If your doing this by hand in mortar use the same method, adding a little oil at a time and continue to pound and stir the mixture until it is well combined.
Now stir in the lemon juice, paprika, hot pepper flakes and salt to taste.
Chermoula Grilled Cremini Mushrooms - This is a banquet sized recipe, serves 24. Cremini mushrooms are marinated with spicy chermoula then grilled. Serve with rice and a fresh mixed salad greens.