Zhoug cilantro sauce in bowl
Zhoug, The Yemenite Green Sauce With A Spicy Punch
At a glance, you may confuse zhoug with other green sauces like pesto or chimichurri, but the Yemeni sauce is in a league of its own thanks to its zesty and unique ingredients.
Made with lots of cilantro and olive oil along with cardamom, cumin, and spicy green chiles, zhoug is a versatile condiment with a spicy, herbaceous kick.
Zhoug was first created by Jews in Yemen, but has since become a popular condiment throughout the Middle East, going by other names including skhug, sahawiq, and daqqus.
The sauce is made with toasted spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, black peppercorns, and red chili flakes, which are ground down in a mortar and pestle with garlic and chiles.
After about five minutes of grinding, which turns the mixture into a thick paste, cilantro and parsley are added in batches, typically three times more cilantro than parsley.
Once the mixture is pulpy, a good drizzle of olive oil and an optional squeeze of lemon are added. Once the zhoug reaches a homogeneous consistency, it’s ready to serve.
The sauce can be paired with falafel, kebabs, or pita, added to dips like hummus, or drizzled atop shakshuka, vegetables, or whatever else needs a zesty kick.