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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

  • About

Originally a Yemeni relish, zhug is now thought of as being as Israeli as El Al. It can be sweetened a little with tomato puree or even ketchup if liked.


  • 115 g/4 oz hot red chillies
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • Β½ tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree (optional)



Pour boiling water over the chillies and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes. Don’t throw away this water.

Destem the chillies, then scrape out the seeds and discard them. Peel and chop the garlic.

Toast the spices in a dry pan over a low flame and grind.

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and work to a thick paste. Add a little of the soaking water if too thick. Store as you would harissa.

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