Chermoula is a North African spice paste which Peter Ojansuu of Melbourne’s Arintji combines with prawns to create an easy yet flavourful entree or tapas dish.


  • Prawns

  • 16 fresh tiger prawns, shells removed but tails intact

  • 1 lime

  • Chermoula Paste

  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 3 black peppercorns

  • ¼ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • Pinch of saffron

  • Salt

  • Pinch paprika

  • 2 shallots, sliced

  • ½ preserved lemon rind, finely chopped

  • Juice of ½ lemon

  • ½ garlic clove, minced

  • 60ml olive oil

  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • Handful coriander, finely chopped


  • 1.

    For the chermoula paste: roast the spices in a moderately hot pan, then grind with a pestle and mortar or spice grinder to a fine powder.

  • 2.

    Add the remaining ingredients (except the fresh herbs) to a blender and process to a fine paste, adding more oil if the mixture seems dry. Set aside.

  • 3.

    Heat a little oil in a pan and quickly fry the prawns for 1-2 minutes. Drain off any extra oil and add the chermoula pasta, coriander and parsley and toss the prawns to coat.

  • 4.

    To serve, arrange the prawns on a platter with wedges of lime.

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