My recent sauce obsession has been Zhoug (ZOOg); a spicy cilantro ‘pesto’, known to have originated from Yemen, then to Israel & now popular all over the middle east & South Asia.
If you like SPICY food, this one’s for you! And if you like fresh, light refreshing pasta dishes, this one’s for you!
Now, don’t worry, I’ve also written down substitutions and portions for a milder version.
Also, it’s rather spicy when freshly made and mellows out after.
This sauce is super versatile, so make a big batch and refrigerate it, because it’s addictive and you’ll be putting it on everything!
I’ve used a chickpea pasta today, but whatever pasta or noodles you have will work.
Ingredients for Zhoug:
2 1/2 cups, packed, fresh cilantro
1/2 cup, packed fresh parsley
6 Jalapeños, chopped, seeds included
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds (or powder)
4 cloves Garlic
1 tsp coarse salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from one lemon
Ingredients for tomato relish:
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 8 oz box of pasta
De-seed your jalapeño for a milder version. You could also use as little as 2 jalapeños if you’d like. Or use a couple of jalapeños and add a pinch of red chilli flakes. Make it per your tolerance.
In a food processor or a blender, add the chopped jalapeños, garlic and salt. Coarsely chop. Next add cilantro, parsley, cardamom, cumin and coriander. Blend again until a finer thick paste forms. It should be a pesto like consistency, not too fine a paste, and slightly coarse. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in lemon juice and olive oil. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Mix the chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Putting the Pasta together:
Cook the pasta per box instructions, drain and set aside. In a bowl, gently toss together cooked pasta with the Zhoug sauce. Use how much ever sauce you’d like.
Top with fresh relish and enjoy!
If you’re inspired by this post, or try this recipe out, please leave your comment below, and share a photo with me! I’d love to see your creations <3
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