I think of cumin and coriander as ying and yang, two different but intertwined spices. The one brings out the best in the other. This is what makes the North African chermoula so very irresistible. Here, the addition of fresh herbs ensures that this spicy, zesty sauce raises the humble potato to new heights. More to the point, I thought of this potato dish as a North African cousin to the Spanish patatas bravas.

Potatoes in Herby Chermoula Sauce

Serves: 6 as a side dish


3 medium potatoes or 2 large ones

I whole green pepper

30 grams of fresh coriander leaves


1 heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 heaped teaspoon of coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 chopped clove of garlic

The juice of half a lemon

A sprinkling of sumac


  1. Wash and chop the potatoes into small cubes. Place in a pan with water and a bit of salt and bring to the boil. Lower the flame and keep boiling until the potatoes are cooked through. It is best if you do not use excess water and do not have to tip any out, as that allows the nutrients of the potatoes not to be lost.
  2. Place the potatoes in a bowl.
  3. Wash the green pepper, slice it lengthwise in half and place it cut face down under a hot grill until the skin chars.
  4. Meanwhile, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan until they give off a fragrance and turn slightly brown. Do not burn the spices.
  5. Remove the pepper from under the grill, let it cool and then peel the burnt skin off the pepper. Slice the flesh into strips and place it in the blender.
  6. Chop the coriander leaves and add these to the blender.
  7. Add in the cumin and coriander seeds, the chilli flakes, the garlic, the lemon juice, the salt, and the olive oil.
  8. Blend until smooth and then pour the sauce over the potatoes. Give the potatoes a good stir in the sauce to make sure that all the pieces are well coated.
  9. Sprinkle some sumac on top for extra flavour and a bit of colour before serving.

© Taste Trail Limited 2015