Chermoula barbecued prawns with quick tomato chermoula relish

Chermoula prawn skewers served with  tomato relish and aioli.
Chermoula prawn skewers served with tomato relish and aioli. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Of all the condiments, chermoula has my heart. It has such depth and complexity of flavour and I truly believe it makes anything taste better. Here some barbecued king prawns get the treatment and trust me this is easy entertaining and summer freshness all on the one plate. I made a quick tomato relish with the leftover chermoula and it's a great addition to swipe your prawns through or dollop on top.


16 king prawns, deveined, peeled, tails intact

wooden skewers soaked in water

olive oil for the hotplate

½ cup aioli, to serve


½ tbsp coriander seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant, roughly ground

½ tbsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant, roughly ground

1 tsp sumac

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

½ preserved lemon, pulp removed, skin roughly chopped

1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves

½ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

¾ cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves

½ tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp ground turmeric

Quick tomato chermoula relish

1 tsp olive oil

250g cherry tomatoes

½ tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp chermoula


1. Carefully skewer the prawns onto the wooden skewers.

2. For the chermoula, add all ingredients to a blender and whiz until combined but still slightly chunky. Dollop 3-4 tablespoons of the chermoula over the prawns and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes, a few hours would be ideal.

3. While the prawns are marinating, make the relish. Place a frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil then add the tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan often, until they start to blister. Add the brown sugar, turn the heat to low and cook for another minute. Using a fork, gently push down on the tomatoes to release some juices. Add 3 tablespoons of chermoula and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, the tomatoes look glazed and the mixture is a very chunky relish consistency. Mash lightly with a fork, transfer to a serving dish and set aside.

4. Bing the prawns to room temperature. Turn your barbecue hotplate to medium, add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the prawns, turning often to prevent catching, and basting with an extra tablespoon or 2 of chermoula, until the prawns are cooked through, between 3-5 minutes.

5. Transfer to a platter and dollop over another tablespoon or 2 of chermoula. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the tomato relish and aioli on the side.