Recipe for Sahawiq Akhdar (Zhug) - Yemeni Green Hot Sauce

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  • About 200g of Zhug
  • Preparation:


  • 60g (about 2 bunches, 1" diameter) Cilantro leaves
  • 6g (about ¼-cup) Mint
  • 20g (about half a bulb) Garlic
  • 110g (7-8 small) Jalapeño
  • 2½g (about 1t) Cumin
  • 2½g (about 1t) Cardamom
  • 1g (about ½t) Coriander Seeds
  • ½g (¼t) Caraway Seeds
  • 1g (about ½t) Black Peppercorn
  • 5g (1½t) Kosher Salt
  • 55-80g (4-6T) Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • Remove the leaves off of the stalks of cilantro, wash, and gently dry. Do the same for the mint. Peel the garlic and remove the jalapeño stems and seeds.
  • Lightly toast the cumin, cardamom, coriander, and caraway under low flame for 1-2 minutes.
  • Grind all of the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder with the peppercorn.
  • Place the cilantro, mint, garlic, jalapeño, ground seeds, and salt into a food processor. Pulse, then switch to continuous chopping, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Once homogenized, package the zhug in an air-tight container and refrigerate. Use within one week.

*Bunny Wisdom*

  • The two bunches of cilantro turn into roughly 2 packed cups of leaves.
  • Toasting the seeds helps bring out the oils and flavors.
  • Over 100g of jalapeño can be a lot for some people. Use your discretion; add less if you want the zhug to be less spicy.
  • You don't have to remove the seeds from the jalapeño, but we like to discard them.
  • It's up to you to decide how much olive oil you want suspended within the mixture. If you want something more fluid, add more olive oil; otherwise, I like to stay on the lower end to enjoy the freshness of the zhug.
  • Feel free to drizzle a little bit of olive oil over some spooned zhug, especially if you want more fragrant olive oil with your meal.

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