Zhug (Yemenite Hot Sauce with Cilantro and Parsley)


SourceSerious Eats
Prep time10 minutes
Cooking time
Total time10 minutes


This is a fresh and bright spread or dip with a spicy kick, depending on which peppers you use. It’s great as a sandwich spread or mixed in with rice and vegetables.


1/4 teaspoon
coriander seeds (whole)
1/2 teaspoon
cumin seeds (whole)
1/4 teaspoon
black pepper
cardamom pods (small internal seeds only, toasted (optional))
4 cloves
garlic (roughly chopped)
pepper, chile (Thai bird red or green, or 4 dried chiles de arbol)
1 teaspoon
salt (plus more to taste)
2 ounces
parsley, fresh (and cilantro leaves and fine stems (about 2 loosely packed cups))
1/2 cup
olive oil


Combine coriander, cumin, and cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder.  In a food processor, add the herbs, garlic, chilies, salt, ground black pepper, and the spices from the mortar.  Process on low speed until smooth and no pieces of chilies or herbs remain.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil to form an emulsion.  Season to taste with more salt.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.