DinnerNorth AfricaRecipes

Oxtail in North-African Chermoula

45 Mins Cook
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It’s a wonder this recipe is not more popular than it currently is. It is the perfect blend of vegan, healthy, gluten-free and spice. And I love spice. I am recently curating recipes across Africa and this sauce fits perfectly into any setup as a sauce, stew, marinade or just something to be eaten on its own. It also can be used as a base for other recipes such as chermoula chicken tagine, chermoula pasta, chermoula spiced chicken. This sauce is basically a combination of your favorite greens and spices. Although in practice, you can throw in whatever green vegetables and/or herbs you like, authentic chermoula is made with three major herbs: Cilantro, Mint, and Parsley.

Parsley, Mint and Cilantro

Other variations of this dish suggest adding a bit of toasted cumin and coriander seeds. This step adds a whole load of flavor to the dish. In this recipe, I used lentil and pumpkin seeds as a flavor base (because I wanted to try something different). It’s as simple as putting these seeds on a dry skillet for about 5-10 minutes until you smell the flavour (you’ll know when it’s ready).

To spice up the herbs, use some onions (I like red onions, just a lot more flavour), chilli peppers, ginger and garlic.

This dish can also be completely vegan by skipping any form of seafood or meat but rather complementing it with some mushrooms. I find the Japanese shiitake mushrooms to go perfectly with this. Rather than for a non-vegan feast, oxtail, lamb, or hake fish is the perfect combo. Start by marinating the meat. For the marinade, use a blend of chili peppers, ginger, garlic, onions, lemon juice, and some salt. And let this sit for about 3-6 hours. You can also marinate the meat in a bit of the chermoula sauce itself (exactly what I did), it’s that versatile.

If you are using lamb, you can grill the meat or simply toss it into the sauce while it cooks. Oxtail however has a much longer cooking time than the sauce itself. So you need to cook it in a

prep time
1-3 Hours
cooking time
45 Mins
total time
1-4 hours


  • Instapot or Pressure Cooker


  • 100g Oxtail

  • 50g Mint

  • 50g Coriander

  • 50g Parsely

  • 50g Dill

  • 2 Scotch Bonnets

  • 2 Galic Cloves

  • 10g Ginger

  • 100ml of chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds

  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil



Step 1: Marinate the Oxtail/Lamb

- Blend some ginger, garlic, onions, and chili. - Loose with some lemon juice and pour over oxtail/Lamb - Cover and Leave to sit about 3 hours

Step 2: Soften the meat

- Put the oxtail in a pressure cooker and cook until soft. - Save the liquid from the cooked meat

Step 3: Blend herbs and spices

- In a food processor, blend the mint, parsley, coriander, and dill with scotch bonnets, ginger, and garlic.

Step 4: Toast the Fennel Seeds

- In a clean pot start by toating the fennel seed until it starts to smell off the pan

Step 5: Saute Meat

- In to the toasting fennel seeds, add in sesame seed oil - Add in some chopped red onions and saute until golden brown. - Add in the cooked meat with the chicken stock - Leave to simmer for 5 mins until the mixture is reduced.

Step 6: Add in the sauce

- To the reduced mix, add in the blended herbs - Stir and leave to simmer for 5 mins


Add in more chicken stock and simmer for just 3 minutes for a looser sauce. This recipe will give you a thick sauce.

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