Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce

A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices

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Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander Paste, Dip and Sauce

What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart.

Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been calledย Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, aย Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander.

Read some more about Green Coriander, and also How to Use Leftover Green Coriander.

You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here and here. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.


The texture of Zhoug varies – various recipes show it as thin through to quite thick, and quite smooth through to coarse. Choose a texture depending on your intended use each time you make it.

Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander Paste, Dip and Sauce

Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander Paste, Dip and Sauce

ingredients
1 large bunch coriander
2 – 3 green chillies, or to taste
1 tspn black pepper
1 tspn caraway seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
0.25 tsp ground cardamom
pinch sugar
0.25 tsp salt
2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tblspn olive oil
2 tbsp water
rind of a little preserved lemon or fresh lemon juice

method
Place all of the ingredients except the water into a blender and blend until it is a paste of your desired texture. Thin with a little added water or more olive oil if desired.

Taste and adjust salt and lemon if needed. Pack into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

recipe notes and alternatives
Add a cup of parsley to the Zhoug.

You can roast the spices before blitzing, for added flavour.

Use in a variety of ways. Wonderful served with pita, a bowl of grated or diced tomatoes, hummus and falafel. It can serve as a sauce, spread and dip. It is wonderful stirred into soups and stews to spark them up.

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Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

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