This is a yummy, cooked Moroccan carrot salad made with the famous chermoula marinade, it is one of my family favourites and common addition to any Moroccan table. Also known as Khizou Mchermel in Moroccan, it has various forms, depending on how you want to shape the carrots, so it can be cut into chunky sticks, sliced or diced as well as what we say zaalouk version which is a slightly mashed-up method, either way, is equally tasty, the only thing to bare in mind is to adjust cooking time accordingly to shape.
The best thing about this Moroccan carrot salad beside its health benefits & making a great starter or side dish is that it is very easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time and served hot or cold. this also makes this recipe perfect for either winter or summer days.
So usually, I have a jar of the chermoula marinade already made in the fridge, the freshly blended herbs would have already infused with the spices and obtained an aroma and this is key to the taste of the salad. Some like a generous amount of this marinade while others prefer a light seasoning. I prefer it zesty with lots of lemon and there are many who like it quite spicy too! A great advantage to making this versatile paste is that you can easily adjust it to yours and your families preference.
Please follow the link here to make your own bulk chermoula paste:
However, I have added the ingredients to 2 methods, one with the pre-made marinade and one without. If you make it without the pre-made chermoula marinade, allow the salad to set in the fridge a few hours longer before serving!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
For The Chermoula Paste
- 4 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Sweet Paprika powder
- 1 tsp Harissa paste If you like it spicy
- 1 Handful Parsley Finely chopped
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves Finely grated
- 1 tbsp Moroccan Vinegar White vinegar can work well too
- 500 g Carrots Peeled and cored if needed
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 handful Chopped parsley For garnish
- 1/4 Preserved lemon rind cut in wedges For garnish
If You already have Chermoula Paste
- 1/4 cup Chermoula Paste
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1/4 tsp Salt to taste add this in the end if needed
- 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp Sweet Paprika powder
- 1 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice or Moroccan/white vinegar
- 1/4 Preserved lemon rind cut in wedges for garnish
- 1 tsp Harissa paste or chili flakes Optional if your chermoula isn't already spicey
- If you do not have a premade chermoula paste, then make that first by mixing the above mentioned ingredients together, then set aside while you prepare the carrots.
- Slice or dice the carrots to your liking, sprinkle them with some salt and part boil or steam them with a crushed unpeeled garlic clove until they are cooked but still have a bite to them, then drain.
- In a wok or a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the chermoula, (the above chermoula recipe doesn't need any additional spices) If you are using premade chermoula then you may add the additional spices at this stage. Stir fry for a few seconds to let the flavours release then fold in the carrots and stir.
- Simmer for a few minutes on medium heat until all carrots are coated and well infused with the spices. Then taste test for salt, lemon & spice and adjust accordingly to your preference.
- Grate the garlic and add it either at the same time as the carrots or stir it in when you have just finished cooking.
- If you wish to serve it as Zaalouk, (in a mashed form) you can roughly mash the carrots at this point while still warm, with a folk or vegetable masher. Some like to add a mashed potato with this to add to the consistency, which should not be smooth. (This is optional)
- Remove from the heat and add the olive oil then wait until the salad has cooled down a bit before stirring in the lemon juice or vinegar
- Serve the salad garnished with preserved lemon wedges and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. It's tasty hot or cold!
- It keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just add an extra drizzle of olive oil before serving again.