Shrimp with Chermoula

By Chef JAMIE LIPHARDT for the Flathead Beacon

With the arrival of spring it’s time to excite the palette with some exotic, bright flavor. Your taste buds are begging you to switch up the long winter’s comfort food routine. Here we travel to East Africa for a taste of its traditional flavors using Berbere (pronounced bahr-beh-REE). Berbere is a spice blend usually containing pepper, paprika, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom and a variety of other spices. I buy mine already blended from my local health food store. Chermoula (pronounced Chehr-MOO-lah) is a sauce or paste used primarily to marinate seafood or shellfish, but again, so versatile it can be used to flavor even meat or vegetables. It typically consists of cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne, garlic and paprika. Here I served my shrimp over millet cakes. Millet is a gluten-free, protein packed cereal grain that is prepared like rice. Alternately any grain or simple side of couscous would be just fine.

This dish is packed with flavor and can be prepared with ease. I would even call it company-worthy.

12 large, wild shrimp- shelled and deveined, tails on
Berbere Spice Blend
Toss shrimp with olive oil and 1-2 Tbsp. of spice blend and set aside
Metal or Bamboo Skewers
3/4 C. packed cilantro, stems and leaves
1/2 C. good quality olive oil
cajun3- 4 garlic cloves
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until you have a smooth consistency, set aside.

2 cups cooked and cooled millet
2 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 small carrot, grated
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with about 2 Tbsp. olive oil and gently form small cakes and fry approximately 3-4 minutes per side, until golden. Remove from pan and keep warm until ready to use.

Skewer and grill shrimp over medium high heat, watching closely. You can alternately sear shrimp on a stovetop for approximately 3-4 minutes until shrimp are opaque and cooked through.

Serve on shrimp skewers over millet cakes and drizzle with chermoula sauce. I served mine with baby kale and grill roasted tomatoes.

Serves 2. Enjoy!

*Berbere can be found at Mountain Valley Foods, Huckleberry’s or online at