Charmoula and a Giveway – The Food of Morocco

I love flipping through cookbooks with beautiful photography and stories. The Food of Morocco is one such cookbook and more. It is a dream to visit Morocco one day. I dream of being surrounded by bright colours, aromatic spices and getting lost in its narrow streets and harsh terrain. The author, Paula Wolfert writes about her love story with Morocco and how the culinary scene has changed in the last 50 years since she first step foot into Morocco.

The Food of Morocco

The book starts with an heartfelt introduction, a map of Morocco that details what each city is know for. For example, Rabat boasts a savoury, sweet tagine of fish with celery, raisins and almonds. And it is followed by the essentials of Moroccan cooking like how to make preserved lemons, amlou, ras el hanout and more. These essentials are mentioned and used throughout the cookbook. The chapters are broken down into:

  • Salads
  • Breads and pastries
  • Eggs, butter, buttermilk and cheese
  • Soups
  • Couscous
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Meats
  • Bean and vegetables dishes
  • Desserts and
  • Drinks

There were so many dishes that I wanted to share. Instead, I settled for a very simple but super useful charmoula. Charmoula in this book is used a lot with fish. It’s a marinate that is many Moroccans that live by the coast will use on oil fish like sardines or shad. Charmoula differs in different cities. I added some red onions and a touch more garlic in mine. And instead of using it only as a marinade, I used it as a condiment as well.

Cumin seeds

You can choose to use the mortar but I’ve chosen the lazy way out and used a blender instead. I adjusted the seasonings and a touch of garlic here and there as I tasted it. This recipe is just a guide. Make it to how you like it to be. Also bear in mind that this is a marinade so it can be more salty or stronger in flavour.



  • 2tsp Mococcan cumin seeds (I used normal cumin seeds)
  • 3 garlic cloves (I added another 1/2)
  • 1tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp of coarsely chopped parsley
  • 2tsp of coarsely chopped coriander
  • 2tsp of sweet paprika (I used smoked)
  • 1/4tsp freshly ground black or white pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or rinsed pulp from a preserved lemon)
  • 2tbp of extra virgin oil ( I added a touch more


  • Put all the cumin, garlic, parsley, coriander, paprika, pepper and cayenne in a blender or mortar to blend or pound to a paste
  • Add lemon juice and olive oil and mix. This can keep up to 3 days in a good refrigerator


  1. To keep the charmoula, scrape the mixture into a small saucepan, add 3 or 4 tablespoons water and heat slowly, stirring for about 30 seconds or until just hot and aromatic. Do not allow to boil.
  2. Leave to cool, jar it and store in refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before use


The very kind people from Bloomsbury has given me another The Food of Morocco cookbook to Giveaway! One of you will be able to own this beautiful 517 page cookbook.

Here are the simple entry and rules. You just need to answer a simple question and to earn more points, you will need to complete more tasks below.

  1. This is open to anyone in Australia with a valid Australian address
  2. You can enter by either using your Facebook account or name and email address
  3. You will receive entry points for each of the task completed below. You may choose to come back everyday to earn extra points
  4. To enter, select the entry option and click on the +1 Do It button next to it and follow the entry instructions and record your entry. You will have to do this every time you enter the giveaway. The more you enter, the more entries you get!

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