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Charmoula (Spicy Moroccan Herb Sauce)

Imagine the spices of Morocco, the freshness of Italian pesto, and the acidic tang of French vinaigrette. Put them together and what you get is charmoula. This bold Moroccan table sauce traditionally accompanies seafood, but it’s equally tasty with grilled chicken, lamb, beef, even vegetables. Best of all, you can use it simultaneously as a marinade, baste, and table sauce, enjoying a triple blast of its evocative North African flavors.


Charmoula (Spicy Moroccan Herb Sauce)

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 1 cup; enough to serve 4


  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Combine the parsley, cilantro, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the salt, spices, lemon juice, oil, and water and process to a coarse purée, running the machine in short bursts.

Step 2: Correct the seasoning, adding salt and/or lemon juice; the charmoula should be highly seasoned. Like most sauces made with fresh herbs, charmoula tastes best served within a few hours of making.

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