A spicy North African sauce that enlivens meat, poultry, and fish. With herbs, earthy spices, and lemon, it is a great marinade and terrific condiment. Add tomatillos for a new flavor twist.



Yield 6 servings

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  • 1 lb. small tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 6-8 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. chile paste (or ½-1 fresh chile, seeded and chopped)


  1. Prepare grill for medium heat. Toss tomatillos on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until insides are jammy and skins are blackened, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and let cool; discard liquid that drains into bowl.
  2. Sprinkle cumin seeds in a skillet and toast them over medium to high heat, stirring, until they smell fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mini-chopper or food processor, place the tomatillos, parsley, cilantro, garlic, smoked paprika, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 6 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, chile paste, and toasted cumin. Grind until smooth.
  4. Taste and add the additional teaspoon of lemon juice and the rest of the olive oil (or more), if necessary, so the sauce is a loose paste.


Chermoula can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.