Monday, 20 July 2009

Oven Roasted Fish in a Spicy North African Chermoula Marinade




I first discovered the zesty chermoula marinade at a Speciality Fish restaurant in Poole, UK. 


This flavoursome and herby North African marinade is one I have never tried before. I liked the flavours so much that despite the embarassment of hubby I requested the chef for the recipe. As expected the chef did not give me the recipe but made a mention of the key ingrediets that makes a good charmoula marinade ( parsley, olive oil and garlic). For the next couple of days I hunted the internet for the real thing. I discovered many different recipes for the Chermoula and decided to combine these ideas to create my own version of the Chermoula. The end result was an awesome marinade which was tastier than the restaurant version. The many ingredients that went into the marinade was daunting, but made this marinade flavoursome and special.



Food fact- The Chermoula or charmoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. It is usually used to flavor fish or seafood, but it can be used on other meats or vegetables. Chermoula is often made of a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt. A Moroccan version comprises dried parsley, cumin, paprika and salt and pepper. It is the original seasoning for grilling meat and fish in Moroccan cuisine.

Recipe for Chermoula Marinade ( my version)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
 2 fresh lemons (juice) 
2 pickled lemon quarters ( I used my grand uncle J's homemade pickled lemons) 
2 teaspoons paprika 
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves 
3 tbsps dried thyme 
1 1/2 tsps black peppercorns 
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsps whole cloves 
2 tsps ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and blend till fine.
2.Prepare the fish and place in a marinading dish.Pour the marinade over the fish and gently turn to coat on all sides. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 200C. Place the fish on a grilling metal rack placed over a oven proof dish and bake in the center of the oven for 25 mins or till done. Turn fish over after 12.5 mins and cook till done.
4. Serve hot with lime wedges and finger chips.

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