This Chermoula Spice Blend is the perfect combo of bright, fresh, and tangy, with just the right amount of smoke and spice. Whether you’re grilling meats, roasting vegetables, or marinating seafood, chermoula is a great way to inject instant flavor into your food.
- What is Chermoula?
- Why You’ll Love This Chermoula Spice Blend
- The Benefits of Dried Spices
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make Chermoula Seasoning: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Recipe Substitutions and Variations
- Storage Instructions
- Recipe Tips
- How to Use Your Chermoula Seasoning
- Even More Ways to Add Flavor to Your Meals
- Printable Recipe Card
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Pin Recipe for Later!
What is Chermoula?
Traditional chermoula is a popular North African marinade, sauce, or condiment. It is commonly used in Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. The word “chermoula” is an Arabic word meaning to rub or marinate in a spice mix. [Source]
Chermoula is a delicious blend of fresh green herbs such as fresh parsley and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and warm spices like cumin, ground coriander, and paprika. Citrus (often lemon juice or preserved lemons), garlic, and olive oil are added to turn the mixture into a loose paste. The proportions of ingredients for chermoula marinades vary between regions. It could be described as a nut-free herb-forward pesto similar to a chimichurri sauce.
This chermoula recipe captures those bold fragrant flavors in a convenient dry form. A non-perishable blend of dried herbs and spices that perfectly season a variety of dishes, from tuna steaks and white fish to a tender butterflied leg of lamb and hearty root vegetables, and pretty much anything else you’d like to infuse with a spicy Moroccan flavor.
Why You’ll Love This Chermoula Spice Blend
- Boosts the flavor of a meal. Chermoula seasoning can enhance the taste of many dishes, adding depth, warmth, and beautiful flavor.
- Incredibly versatile. It can be used as a dry rub, marinade, or seasoning, making it a fantastic pantry staple that can be used again and again.
- So easy to make. It’s as simple as mixing the spices together and storing them in a sealed container. And you’ve probably got most of the spices in your spice rack already!
The Benefits of Dried Spices
While fresh herbs and spices have their own unique qualities and are preferred in certain recipes, dried versions offer several benefits that make them convenient for everyday cooking. Here are just some of the reasons why I love making my own spice blends.
- Long shelf life. Dried spices have a significantly longer shelf life than fresh ones. Properly stored in airtight containers, they can retain their flavor and potency for an extended period.
- Convenient and accessible. Dried spices are readily available in grocery stores, making them convenient to purchase anytime. They are also lightweight and easy to store, requiring less space than fresh herbs and spices.
- Concentrated flavor. Drying spices intensifies their flavors, allowing even a small amount to pack big flavor.
- Versatility. Dried spices can be used in a wide range of recipes and cuisines, providing consistent flavor regardless of the season. I’m thinking of dry rubs, marinades, and sauces for summer grills and comforting autumn and winter soups and stews.
- Time-saving. Dried spices eliminate the need for washing, chopping, or preparing fresh herbs and spices, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this super-flavorful chermoula blend.
- Ground Cumin: Adds a warm, earthy flavor.
- Ground Coriander: Brings citrusy, slightly sweet notes.
- Sweet Paprika: Infuses a mild smokiness and a vibrant red color.
- Garlic Powder and Onion Granules: For their bold, savory flavors.
- Dried Parsley: For the all-important herbaceous flavor.
- Ground Turmeric: Imparts a golden hue and a warm, slightly bitter taste.
- Ground Cinnamon: Contributes a fragrant, sweet spiciness.
- Ground Coves: Brings a warm, sweet, and slightly pungent flavor.
- Dried Chili Flakes: Offers a pleasant level of heat and a hint of smokiness.
- Lemon Salt: Lemon adds a bright zing to fresh chermoula, so to replicate that in dry form, premade dried lemon mixed with sea salt is an excellent zesty alternative. I’m using the BWFO Lemon Salt. If you can’t find lemon salt where you are or online, you can sub with regular sea salt flakes.
- Black Pepper: Adds a gentle heat and a bold, peppery taste.
How to Make Chermoula Seasoning: Step-By-Step Instructions
Are you ready to make your spice mix? Here’s how in three illustrated steps:
- Measure Ingredients
Measure the herbs and spices into a bowl.
- Mix Ingredients
Mix the ingredients until well combined. I use a fork to remove any clumps at the same time.
Store the spice rub in an airtight container or spice jar.
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩Jump to Recipe
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
- Lemon Salt: You can substitute lemon salt with lemon juice powder for a more citrusy note. Although it’s not an ingredient that’s readily available in stores, you can order it online in a pinch. I get this BWFO Lemon Salt from Amazon. Avoid adding fresh lemon zest, as it will reduce the shelf life of your spice mix significantly.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic granules are an easy sub for garlic powder.
- Onion Granules: Onion powder can be used in place of onion granules quite easily!
- Dried Parsley: No parsley, no problem. Dried cilantro if you prefer or if it’s more readily available to you.
- Dried Chili Flakes: Cayenne pepper or chili powder is an excellent alternative to dried chili flakes to get a similar heat level.
- Harissa Chermoula: Add a tablespoon of harissa dry mix to the basic chermoula recipe for a spicy twist. I use this Spice Masters Harissa Spice Mix.
- Mint Chermoula: Add a tablespoon of dried mint for tasty minty vibes. Works brilliantly with lamb!
- Smoky Chermoula: Replace the sweet paprika with smoked paprika for a more intense smoky flavor.
NUTRITION TIP: Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper, possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may support overall health and well-being. For example, these spices have been linked to improved cholesterol and better blood sugar control. [Source]
Proper storage of your homemade spice blend is key to maintaining its freshness and flavor for the months ahead. Here are some helpful storage tips:
- Store in a glass airtight container: Advantageous for several reasons.
- Firstly, glass is non-porous and non-reactive, meaning it will not absorb or transfer any odors or flavors to your spices. It preserves the spices’ aroma, flavor, and potency for longer.
- Secondly, transparent glass containers allow you to easily see what’s inside and how much is left. This makes it convenient for usage and refill.
- Thirdly, airtight containers prevent any moisture, air, or dust from infiltrating, potentially spoiling the spices or reducing their quality.
- Finally, glass is an eco-friendly and reusable material, making this option sustainable.
- Store at room temperature: Room temperature is generally stable and does not promote condensation, preventing moisture from ruining the spice mix.
- Check the expiration date on your spices: If you’re using spices that have been sitting in your spice cabinet for a while, check the use-by dates. Expired herbs and spices will almost certainly have lost most of their flavor and aroma.
- Remember to label the container: Label with the name and date of preparation for easy reference.
- Transform into a chermoula paste: Add extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to your dry mix and turn it into a wet marinade. This can help the spice mix cling to the ingredients you want to add flavor to.
How to Use Your Chermoula Seasoning
- Vegetables: Sprinkle chermoula mix generously over your favorite vegetables before roasting or grilling. The spices will infuse the vegetables with Moroccan-inspired flavors, bringing out their natural sweetness while adding a zesty and slightly spicy kick.
- Meat, Poultry, and Seafood: Generously coat your protein with the spice blend to create a flavorful crust. Whether you’re grilling chicken, lamb, fish, or shrimp, this blend of spices is a game-changer.
- Soups, Stews, and Tagines: This spice mix is the perfect base for creating Moroccan-inspired dishes. Add a tablespoon or two to your tagines, soups, or stews during the cooking process, and let the spices meld with the other ingredients. Yum!
- Sprinkle On or Into Dips: Chermoula seasoning is fantastic sprinkled over dips like this Creamy Whipped Feta Dip. It also takes homemade hummus or Baba Ganoush to next-level deliciousness.
- Add to Salad Dressings: Whisk a teaspoon or two into your homemade or store-bought dressing to transform a simple salad into something special.
- Creamy Sauces: Mix the chermoula into natural mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt to create a flavorful spread for sandwiches and wraps. Or a vibrant drizzle for salads, grilled meats, and Moroccan-inspired tacos.
If you want to know my preferred way of using this spice blend, I’d have to say sprinkled on seafood. It really is a fish’s best friend. Rub chermoula mix over a fillet of cod, haddock, salmon, or tuna. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Then bake the fish as per package instructions. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables. Absolutely delicious!
WEIGHT LOSS TIP: Incorporating ground spices into your meals can help you reduce the need for excessive salt, fats, or added sugars, making it easier to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.
Even More Ways to Add Flavor to Your Meals
Looking for more recipes that add tons of flavor to your meals? Check out these delicious sauces and condiments:
- Pickled Red Onions
- 3 Ingredient Stir Fry Sauce
- Super Green Pesto
- Chunky Salsa
- Spicy Mango Salsa
- Green Goddess Dressing (also a great Herby dip!)
Thinking of making this recipe? Share your thoughts in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I always LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
Chermoula Spice Blend (Dry Rub)
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- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons lemon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Prepare: Gather your dried herbs and spices and measure them out into a small bowl.2 tablespoons ground cumin, 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, 2 teaspoons ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons lemon salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Mix: Stir the spices together until well combined. Make sure there are no clumps and the spices are evenly distributed.
- Store: Transfer the Chermoula Spice Blend to an airtight container or jar, and label it with the name and date of preparation. Store the spice blend at room temperature in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight to preserve the flavors.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.
Frequently Asked Questions
The spice blend provides a mild to moderate level of heat because of the dried chili flakes and paprika used.
Yes, absolutely! The spiciness of the blend can be adjusted according to your taste preferences. Simply increase or decrease the amount of dried chili flakes to achieve your desired level of heat.
When stored at room temperature in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, the Chermoula Spice Blend can retain its flavor and potency for up to 6 months. I recommend periodically checking the aroma and taste of your spice mix to ensure its freshness.
Certainly! Chermoula Spice Blend is a versatile seasoning that can enhance the flavors of both vegetarian and vegan dishes. It adds brilliant Morrocan flavor to roasted vegetables and plant-based proteins like tofu, lentils, chickpeas, seitan, and beans.