Zhoug ingredients

Here’s something I’ve had in my repertoire for many years now and on the occasion pull it out and give it another burl. Zhoug is a sauce you’ll find at street stalls in the Middle East, the stalls that sell kebabs and falafels. Some recipes call for the rind of preserved lemon, but seeing I didn’t have any floating about my pantry, I made do with a little orange zest. Not quite the same flavour but tasty nevertheless. The rest I just kind of threw together when I got the feel of what should go in.

Zhoug recipe

It’s very much along the lines of a pesto that tastes of the Middle East, rather than Italy, and its versatility stretches as far as dipping warmed Turkish bread into it, or dunking your favourite falafels. My recipe changes slightly every time I make it, so this is the current version.

This is the next installment of my “dinner for one” and it was used to sauce things up a bit, sans the falafels. So I’ve made gobi masala and now a sauce. Keep posted for the next installment tomorrow …

Zhoug recipe

Ingredients for zhoug


makes about 1 cup


  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • ¼ tsp cardamom seeds
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1½ bunches coriander, just leaves and stems roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ¾ cup virg olive oil


Put the peppercorns, caraway seeds, cardamom and sea salt into a mortar and grind to a powder.

Add the coriander, garlic, cumin and orange zest and pound to a paste. Gradually add the oil and keep pounding until a coarse paste forms. Alternatively do the second step in a food processor.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

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