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Spice Up Your Life With This Zesty North African Herb Sauce!

Bryant Terry
Written by Bryant Terry
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This is herb-filled sauce, used in Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian cooking, is traditionally used as a marinade for fish or meats. However, it’s great for vegans, as a tasty sauce in which to bake tempeh, or to top tofu or vegetables.

Zesty North African Herb Sauce

Yield: about 3 cups


  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ tsp. minced seeded habanero chile
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups packed minced cilantro
  • ½ cup packed minced flat-leaf parsley


Warm the oil in a medium saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and salt and saute until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, black pepper and cayenne and saute until fragrant, for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, orange juice, water, habanero, and saffron and mix until well combined. Stir in the cilantro and parsley. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Spice Up Your Life With This Zesty North African Herb Sauce!

Inspired by Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry (Ten Speed Press, 2014).

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