Food - Drink
What Is Chermoula And How Do You Cook With It?
By CLAIRE REDDEN
Morocco takes pride in its spices, and its souks, or outdoor markets, are rife with vibrant seasonings and aromas of all kinds. Chermoula is a condiment that takes full advantage of the country's fantastic herbs and spices, and Chef Marcus Samuelsson even told NPR that chermoula is the heart of Moroccan food.
Samuelsson explains that most chermoula starts with ras hanout, a combo of cumin, cardamom, and coriander, which is then blended with olive oil, and cooks may also add chilis, ginger, lemon, saffron, and herbs. Author Paula Wolfert has tasted chermoula across Morocco with additions like creamed onions and thyme.
Herbaceous with a faint amount of heat, chermoula adds life to meat, poultry, and vegetables, and it can be made in a flash using a mortar and pestle or food processor. It is traditionally spread over white fish like halibut, but you can also use it to season pasta and salads, spread it on bread, or mix it with yogurt for a dip.
If you want to buy chermoula instead of making it, the best undoubtedly comes from souks in Morocco, but brands like Villa Jerada also sell Moroccan pantry items — including their award-winning chermoula spread — at specialty stores and markets across the United States. However, it's easiest to just make your own.