Zhoug sauce is a popular Middle Eastern condiment that’s very easy to make and full of fresh ingredients, it adds a spicy aromatic kick to any meal.
I was first introduced to Zhoug when I was on a Yoga 'time out' retreat at Wonderland in Koh Phangan. Wonderland is run by an Israeli community, hence why the food was so incredibly delicious! Each evening there was a delicious colourful vegan buffet. This is when I fell in love with Zhoug and have been making it ever since!
It's similiar to pesto, chimichurri, chermoula or salsa verde. Many countries have their own variation of a green herb sauce.
Origin's of Zhoug Sauce
Zhoug sauce originated in Yemen, but there are different variations of the sauce all over the Arabic countries.
It is made from fresh red or green hot peppers seasoned with coriander, garlic, salt, black cumin (optional) and various spices, then mixed with olive oil. Some recipes also add caraway seed, cardamom, and black pepper.
Traditional Yemeni cooks prepare Zhoug using two stones: a large stone called marha' used as a work surface and a smaller one called wdi for crushing the ingredients. Alternative options are a mortar and pestle or a food processor. I much prefer the mortar and pestle technique, this is such a satisfying kitchen tool to work with.
How to make Zhoug
Start by picking and washing the herbs, remove any large stems.
Mortar and pestle technique:
Peel and slice the garlic, toast the spices and add both to mortar and pestle along with the sliced chili. Pound everything together until you get a smooth paste.
Next, finely chop the herbs with a knife and add to them to pestle along with the olive oil, pinch of salt and lemon juice. Check and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to storage container.
Bringing the zhoug together is easiest in a food processor or blender. If you use a food processor or blender, try to use a light hand. You want a thick, slightly chunky paste, like pesto, rather than a perfectly smooth and runny sauce.
To make in the blender add the garlic, chili, herbs, toasted spices, olive oil and lemon juice. Pulse in the blender and scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula. Do this 2-3 times until you have a nice course Zhoug sauce with a bit of texture (not too fine).
Check and adjust seasoning and transfer to a storage container.
Is Zhoug Sauce Healthy?
You bet ya! Full of fresh herbs, medicinal spices, garlic, pink salt and olive oil.
Ingredients you will need
- Coriander (aka cilantro in USA!)
- Coriander seed
- Cumin seed
- Black peppercorns
- Cardamom seeds
Seasonings and other:
- Pink slt
- Olive oil
Equipment you will need
- Mixing bowl
- Blender or Pestle & Mortar
- Storage jar
What to serve Zhoug with?
Swirled, drizzled, or dipped, zhoug is delicious with any of the following.
Let's get to the recipe. I promise you it's quick to make and well worth the effort. Make a nice big batch and keep a jar in the fridge, it's sure to liven up any meal.
If you like this recipe, please give some feedback and rating in the comments below. Share with your friends and family who may enjoy making this also and don't forget to tag #holisticchefacademy
- Weighing scales
- Mixing bowl
- Storage container
- 100 g Coriander cilantro
- 50 g Mint or parsley
- 20 g Garlic
- 20 g Green chili to taste
- 1 g Coriander seed
- 1 g Cumin seed
- 1 g Black peppercorns
- 1 g Cardamom
- 3 g Pink salt to taste
- 120 ml Olive oil
- .5 each Lemon juice to taste
- Assemble all ingredients
- Wash the herbs and remove large stems
- Lightly toast the cumin, coriander and black peppercorns
- Peel and slice the garlic, slice the chili - add to mortor & pestle with salt and toasted spices and blend until smooth paste.
- Finely chop the coriander and mint
- Add chopped herbs, olive oil and lemon juice to the chili garlic paste.
- For a looser version, add a bit more oil.
- Taste for salt and heat, adding more if necessary.
- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week. Olive oil sometimes solidifies when chilled—if this happens, let the sauce warm to room temperature. Stir to recombine.
MIX IT UP: Some zhoug recipes call for a mix of coriander and parsley. Use half of each if that combination appeals more to you. You can also use other varieties of chilli peppers.