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Grilled Chermoula Sardines

Slofoodgroup Team August 04, 2021

Sardines with Chermoula spice blend, grilled to perfection 

Chermoula is a popular condiment used in North Africa, mostly in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cuisines. It can be used as a marinade for fish, seafood, or meat as well as a relish.

Common ingredients include garlic, cumin, coriander, oil, and spices. Chermoula recipes vary by region, some recipes using cured salted fish, some other using raisins as a base. A basic chermoula recipe combines fresh herbs, several spices, and an acidic ingredient. The name comes from the Arabic word chermel, which means rubbing or marinating something with a spice mix. The spice mix varies as well, from cumin to saffron, cloves, and cinnamon. But the best thing about this recipe is that it is easily customizable to match one’s taste so feel free to adapt chermoula to your taste.

How to make Grilled Sardines Marinated in Chermoula Spices

Serves: 4 skewers

Prep Time: 10‘

Cooking Time: 8’

Additional Time: 30’ 

  • 4 whole sardines 

For the marinade:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • bunch coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch saffron strands
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and chopped, to serve


  1. Add all the marinade ingredients to a blender and pulse until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Coat each sardine in the marinade and allow to marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Preheat the grill on medium-heat.
  4. Thread each sardine onto a wooden skewer and grill over medium-heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Serve warm with pita bread.