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All About the Sauce: Charmoula Pt 2

As a lover of all things related to food I am always eager to explore new and exciting ways to spice up my gastronomical world. However, if I go back to my Moroccan roots, I dont have to look any further than my own kitchen pantry.

For me, there is no other diverse culture, like the Moroccan culture, which (for centuries) has presented such rich flavors, aromas, and textures in their culinary skills. The colorful presentation and perfect selection of spices and fresh ingredients are what make Moroccan food among one of the most pleasingly balanced of all cuisines.

Recently, Ive written about charmoula (or chermoula) seasoning, which contributes to some of the most unique sauces and marinades that make Moroccan food stand out so proudly.Charmoula has been the basis for so many tagine-style dishes, and as previously mentioned, it can be used as a dry rub or a marinade.

But lets talk about charmoula sauce. This pesto looking sauce offers up a palette of bright flavors to elevate the taste of grilled seafood, poultry and other types of meat; it works equally great with roasted vegetables as well.

The alchemy of spices and herbs is what makes charmoula sauce so special. Adding a dash of this, a pinch of that, and then adding something else to the mix is what all great cooks like to do in order to achieve the best result.

The sauce is usually made with warm spices like cumin, and caraway seeds, with cilantro, parsley and garlic, and sometimes a pinch of saffron. For spiciness a dash of harissa or chile flakes is added. Or if you prefer a tangy taste, a bit of lemon peel or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

There are many variations of charmoula sauce with some recipes calling for only cilantro while others include parsley, and some use turmeric or paprika.The combination of spices and herbs are according to your preference.

When making charmoula sauce you can either use a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle, add some olive oil to the mixture and blend until you have the desired consistency. Spread the charmoula sauce over vegetables, chicken or your choice of fish before cooking.

In the traditional Moroccan way, you can marinade your fish or poultry with the dry charmoula blend,then refrigerate over night. The next day, spread over the charmoula sauce on the meat and allow it to cook slowly. The end result is perfection! Your dinner guests will be smiling from ear-to-ear.

Charmoula is the perfect sauce for the summer, with its colorful pesto-like consistency packed with flavors reminiscent of Morocco; it will dress up anything coming off the grill. Experimenting with your own version of charmoula sauce will be half the fun, the other half will be the enjoyment of eating your charmoula-style meal.

I am happy to share this recipe for making a complete fish tagine Moroccan style meal:

Charmoula Sauce - click link

Fish Tagine - click link

Saffron Rice - click link