Zhug: spicy chili coriander sauce

Zhug: spicy chili coriander sauce

My friends know that I have a really strong crush on coriander. My dream is still to roll around in a field of coriander one day. But not everyone likes the good herb. In fact, before I cook for friends, I often have to check to see if I can use coriander or else I’ll get one stuck on the spot. But anyone who loves coriander will also love this deliciously sheer chili coriander sauce called Zhug.

“After all, it tastes like soap!” No it does not!

Haters claim that coriander tastes like soap. Personally, I’ve never tasted soap, so it’s hard to see how anyone can make that comparison. But in Zhug actually goes not only a whole lot of coriander, but also parsley, some mint, quite a lot of garlic, spices and of course decent chili. Before you quickly take flight, I can calm you down. Zhug is famous for its spiciness, but since you’re making the recipe yourself, you can decide how spicy you want it to be 😉 .

There are three different varieties of zhug: A green, a red and a “brown” variant. The chili used (red or green) is the deciding factor here. So if you decide to use red chili, you will have red Zhug. Brown is the variant with tomato as an additional ingredient. For the recipe, I used regular chili from the supermarket and mixed red and green. Aside from the amount, though, you can influence the level of spiciness with the type of chili.

Zhug: From Yemen to the Levant

Zhug originally comes from Yemen and has found its way to the Levant. Especially in Israel, Zhug, or Zhoug, is very popular. The sauce goes perfectly with roasted vegetables, falafel, fish and meat. By the way, my neighbors told me today that Zhug also goes great with Swabian raviolis. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

By the way, Zhug is super quick to whip up. Just throw everything together in a blender or puree with a hand blender, taste and your hot chili coriander sauce is ready. I have given a suggestion for the amount of chili in my recipe. But of course you are free to take less or more.

Recipe for Zhug: spicy chili coriander sauce

Zhug: spicy chili coriander sauce

Zhug: spicy chili coriander sauce

A spicy chili coriander sauce from Yemen.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 200 ml


  • Hand blender


  • 40 g Coriander
  • 20 g Flat leaf parsley
  • 10 g Mint leaves
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 3 Chilies according to choice and perception of spiciness
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin ground
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom ground
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds ground
  • 150 ml Olive oil
  • Salt


  • The spiciness is up to you. You can use more or less chilies than indicated in the recipe. You can also decide for yourself what kind of chili you want to use.
  • Roughly cut and discard the stems of coriander and parsley.
  • Peel garlic.
  • Remove seeds from chilies. Discard seeds. Coarsely chop chilies.
  • Finely puree all ingredients in a blender or with a hand blender.
  • Season to taste with salt.
Tried this recipe?Follow @levantinerecipes or tag #levantinerecipes

Also be sure to try the fruity spicy mango sauce Amba.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating