This chermoula is based on a recipe I picked up in Morocco. There’s no single way to make this North African paste – there are many variants incorporating different ingredients and spices. It’s fabulously versatile: use it as a marinade, finishing sauce or condiment. Here, dressing the piping-hot prawns in the chermoula releases all its aromatic flavour while being gentle enough to preserve all its bright, herby freshness.
20 medium-large green prawns
30ml extra virgin olive oil
For the chermoula
½ bunch coriander, leaves and fine stems picked and roughly chopped
2 long red chillies, de-seeded and finely diced
2 small garlic cloves, finely grated
20g turmeric, peeled and finely grated (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp water
juice of 1 lemon
1. Preheat the barbecue or a grill pan on high.
2. Combine all the chermoula ingredients – except the lemon juice – in a medium bowl and mix well.
3. Peel the middle section of the prawns, leaving the tails and the heads intact, then devein. (Make a small incision at the back of the head and gently pull the vein through.)
4. Coat the prawns with the oil, then season. Grill for about 2 minutes each side until just cooked.
5. Meanwhile, stir the lemon juice through the chermoula.
6. Pile the prawns onto a serving platter, pour over the chermoula, and serve. Serve this dish as a starter with soft flatbread to mop up the juices, or pair it with hot cous cous for a more substantial offering.