My Recipe Box

Fresh Charmoula


Yields about 3/4 cup

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 127

Ask a Moroccan what charmoula is, and you’ll get a description of a lemony mixture of spices, garlic, and fresh herbs that’s used primarily to marinate or sauce fish. But charmoula can also be a dry spice mixture used for seasoning fish (see Charmoula Barramundi with Yogurt Sauce), chicken, or vegetables to give them a distinctive Moroccan flavor. Both the sauce and the spice mix share the core spices of cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne, but they part ways after that. The spice mixture contains other aromatic spices, including cinnamon and ginger. It is available from, or you can make your own fresh version following the recipe here. If you’re curious to try the dry version, here’s a recipe for that as well.

  • 10 saffron threads, crumbled

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced preserved lemon (optional)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne

Stir the saffron into 3 Tbs. hot water in a medium bowl and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve as a sauce, or marinate fish, shrimp, or chicken in the mixture for an hour before grilling or broiling. Keeps covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140, Fat (kcal): 14, Fat Calories (g): 120, Saturated Fat (g): 2, Protein (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10, Carbohydrates (mg): 3, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 180, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

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