Seasoned with fresh mint, chiles and toasted spices, this piquant North African sauce is commonly paired with fish or chicken, either as a marinade or sauce. The preserved lemon adds a haunting flavor to the mix. But it’s just as traditional to leave it out, which makes the sauce slightly less pungent.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a small, dry skillet, toast cumin and coriander seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until seeds are slightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour spices onto a cutting board or mortar to stop the cooking. Once cool, crack spices with the flat side of a knife or with a pestle.
  2. Step 2

    Place cumin seeds, coriander seeds, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor or blender, and pulse to combine. Add herbs and sweet paprika, and purée until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container when necessary. Add chile and, with the motor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil. Stir in salt and preserved lemon, if using. Taste, and add more salt and lemon juice if needed.
  3. Step 3

    Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Use as a marinade or sauce for fish, chicken, vegetables or meat, or as a dressing for roasted peppers and eggplant salads. Mix into yogurt as a dip for vegetables and meatballs, or spoon over hard-cooked eggs.