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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


By Published On: February 6th, 201431 Comments on Charmoula

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. viveka February 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM - Reply

    What a smell you provide here …. those Italian sausages, looks so delicious. And I love cilantro, one of my favorite herbs.

    • chef mimi February 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM - Reply

      I really do feel sorry for those who dislike cilantro…

  2. Darya February 6, 2014 at 8:53 AM - Reply

    Your chermoula looks divine. So fragrant! It is also really good on white-flesh grilled fish. I have never tried it with vegetables, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t work!

    • chef mimi February 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM - Reply

      I’ve been craving it on Haloumi ever since I thought of it. But fish I completely forgot about! Sounds like a perfect combination!

  3. thesinglegourmetandtraveller February 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM - Reply

    Wonderful! Delicious and so versatile.

  4. indusinternationalkitchen February 6, 2014 at 9:58 AM - Reply

    looks delicious!

  5. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward February 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    You really are amazing with your herb and spice “compotes”!!! Mimi, I will definitely make this. It’s sort of like a chimichurri meets Indian spice blend. Oh, your sausages are so crisp and plum that I thought they were potatoes. Looks delicious.

  6. sallybr February 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM - Reply

    Shanna took all words out of my mouth, exactly what I was going to say about your posts…

    I don’t think I ever tried charmoula, sounds like something pretty nice to make and pump up many types of dishes

  7. richardmcgary February 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    I love charmoula. It’s one of my favorite African recipes. We’ve used it with fish and veggies and have always gotten great results. One of these days I’m going to post a fish tagine using charmoula. I probably need to try it with pork and chicken as I’m sure it would be wonderful on them, as well.
    Love the photo of the plump little sausage with the charmoula on top. :)

    • chef mimi February 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM - Reply

      I totally forgot to mention fish in the post. Any shrimp would be fabulous with charmoula as well!!! Thanks!

  8. That other cook... February 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    never had chamoula, but Im very familiar with chimichurri and I would love to give this recipe a try! Is that a bed of lentils? they look so delicious… I am having canned lentil soup for lunch… don’t judge, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do :)

  9. yummychunklet February 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM - Reply

    Sounds like a great seasoning.

  10. apuginthekitchen February 6, 2014 at 3:02 PM - Reply

    I’ve had charmoula but never made it, it really is delicious. I’ll have to try making it.

    • chef mimi February 7, 2014 at 2:21 PM - Reply

      It’s both fresh, from the parsley-cilantro combo, and flavorful from the spices!

  11. Barbara Smith Gulino February 6, 2014 at 8:50 PM - Reply

    I too, love spice blends, but I haven’t yet tried charmoula, I look forward to giving this a whirl!

    • chef mimi February 6, 2014 at 8:54 PM - Reply

      It’s very good! And quite versatile!

  12. Serena February 6, 2014 at 10:27 PM - Reply

    This just looks so amazing! Kudos!

    • chef mimi February 7, 2014 at 8:44 AM - Reply

      I have to say, it’s pretty good stuff!

  13. thewindykitchen February 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM - Reply

    I can almost smell the toasted cumin…I’ve only made a food processor version of charmoula, but your version looks perfect for that sausage dish ;-)

    • chef mimi February 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM - Reply

      I don’t think this is any different – I could see using a blender to make this as well. It depends if you want to see the leaves or not, I think!

  14. anotherfoodieblogger February 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM - Reply

    YUM! I think this would be very versatile to use on almost anything.

    • chef mimi February 7, 2014 at 2:06 PM - Reply

      I think it is too. I need to start “experimenting!”

  15. saucygander February 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM - Reply

    This sounds wonderful. How is it I’ve never made charmoula before? Time to remedy the situation.
    Anvs you made your own sausages? Respect!

    • chef mimi February 9, 2014 at 8:36 AM - Reply

      Thanks! (I’d never made charmoula before, either!)

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