Summer is coming to an end but it doesn’t mean barbecue season has to… this delicious Moroccan barbecue marinade is a perfect marinade for any meat or vegetable …..whether you are barbecuing, grilling or baking it.
Moroccan spices are my favourite seasonings as they have depth as well as flavour, colour and aroma and you can spice them up or keep them mild. When the meat or vegetables are marinated for several hours the spices permeate throughout and change your entire dish for the better. My trip to Tangier was made extra special when walking through the markets and seeing mounds and mounds of spices displayed. My nose followed the scent and needless to say I came home ladened with spices. Now I find it hard to buy supermarket spices as you know you can’t compare them to the fresh spices of Morocco.I am so pleased that spices are making a huge impact on Mediterranean cooking. I remember seeing fresh turmeric for the first time and didn’t even realise it was turmeric. Then I spent months searching for fresh turmeric which was virtually unheard of in this part of the world. Now most supermarkets are stocking fresh turmeric as they are realising its health benefits and I always have some fresh turmeric in my fridge. I cut an inch off it everyday and add it to my juicer with my other juicing ingredients and I use it in my marinades, soups and stews. Then I finish the day with a turmeric tea. You need more fresh turmeric to powdered turmeric. I usually substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh turmeric for 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric.
This marinade is very simple to make. Just add all the ingredients together and mix well. Then add the meat or vegetable to the marinade and leave for a minimum of 3 hours but I recommend leaving it overnight to allow the spices to permeate the meat. I use ground cumin, cumin seeds, ground cardamom, paprika (spiced if you want that extra punch or sweet paprika if you want a milder marinade), lemon juice and zest, olive oil, minced garlic cloves, seasoning, cinnamon, turmeric and grated ginger. Then I add fresh coriander and parsley.
My favourite way of using this marinade is to use diced lamb and diced chicken. Marinate them overnight and then add them to skewers alternatively with courgettes, red peppers or any vegetable of your choice. Then place them on the barbecue and cook them to perfection!
These can be cooked in bulk ready for serving to a large crowd …
Another delicious use for this marinade is to marinate a whole chicken or chicken pieces on the bone. I marinate the chicken for 24 hours and when you cook it the meat is so tender it just falls off the bone.
Delicious baked on the barbecue (with a lid on top to allow to cook slowly) or covered in the oven. I add black olives at the end to add that Mediterranean feel to the dish…
These are a favourite at any social gathering..
Delicious served with Moroccan couscous made with apricots, spices and chickpeas served with yogurt feta mint dip and pitta bread on the side…
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh turmeric or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons
- Grated zest of 1 lemon then use lemon for slices
- ½ inch clove ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 large handful chopped fresh coriander
- 1 large handful chopped fresh parsley
- Place the olive oil in a large bowl. Add the spices and mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Grate the zest of the lemon and add to the bowl. Cut the lemon in thin slices and add to the bowl or reserve to place on a whole chicken if using the marinade for a chicken.
- Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and ground in a pestle and mortar.
- Add the chopped garlic and grated ginger.
- Add the salt and pepper and chopped coriander and parsley.
- Add the diced meat or vegetables to the marinade or coat a whole chicken with the marinade.
- Cover and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 3-4 hours or overnight.
- For best results marinade the meat overnight.
- This works well with lamb and chicken.