Charmoula

Arabic in origin, Charmoula is a wonderful and flavorful condiment for meat or vegetables. It’s slightly similar to Chimichurri, in that it combines garlic with parsley and cilantro. But that’s where the similarity ends.

I’ve never seen charmoula in a jar, but I’m sure it doesn’t taste as good as home-made in any case. This recipe takes minutes to make, so there’s really no excuse to try the real stuff.

There are probably many different recipes for charmoula, but this is the one I’ve seen the most, with cumin, garlic, cilantro and parsley as the major players.

I’ve used charmoula with my home-made Italian sausages, pictured above, with beef and with chicken; I’ve yet to try it with lamb, but I’m sure it would be equally delicious. Maybe next time.

Charmoula

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, I used black cumin seeds
1-2 cloves garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro, fairly well packed
1/2 cup chopped parsley, fairly well packed
2/3 cup olive oil

Toast the cumin seeds in a skillet. Or use your handy dandy seed toaster.

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To prevent losing the seeds when they begin popping as they toast, use a platter screen over your skillet.

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Place the toasted seeds in a small mortar and grind them up a little.

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Then add the garlic and grind until you’ve formed a paste.

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Place this paste in a medium-sized bowl. Add the lemon juice, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Then add the chopped cilantro and parsley.

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Stir well, then add the olive oil. If you prefer a thicker paste, don’t add as much olive oil; you can always add more later.

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To use the charmoula, I decided to take advantage of some Italian sausages I’d just made.

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I cooked the sausages first and then poured the cumin-flavored freshness over the top.

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Now that I think of it, charmoula would also be good over grilled haloumi and vegetables!!! Something else to try!

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