1. Turn on the food processor with the lid attached. As it is running, slowly add the garlic cloves. Use a paring knife to slice off the stems of the chilies. Add them to the food processor. Turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula. 00:54
2. Add equal parts cilantro and parsley to the food processor. Pulse until the leaves are finely and evenly chopped. Remove the lid of the food processor and add more of either ingredient as desired. 01:57
3. Add equal parts of cumin and coriander to the food processor. Add the caraway, black pepper, green cardamom seeds, and cloves. Add the salt and a quarter cup of olive oil. Place the lid on the food processor and pulse to combine. 02:59
4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Drizzle in one half cup of olive oil. Use a spatula to combine. Store the z’houg in an airtight container, or use it as a grilling marinade, the base for salad dressing, or as a condiment. 04:47
What You'll Need
- Food processor
- Paring knife
- Rubber spatula
- Large mixing bowl
- Garlic cloves, peeled (1 cup)
- Serrano chilies (2 to 5, to taste)
- Cilantro, chopped (1 to 2 cups, to taste)
- Parsley, chopped (1 to 2 cups, to taste)
- Cumin, ground (1 tablespoon)
- Coriander, ground (1 tablespoon)
- Caraway (1 teaspoon)
- Black pepper (1 teaspoon)
- Green cardamom seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
- Cloves, ground (1/8 teaspoon)
- Kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
- Olive oil (1/4 cup and 1/2 cup, divided)
Z’houg is a spicy relish made of fresh herbs, hot peppers, and spices. It has a pesto-like consistency and commonly served with falafel, shwarma, and other Middle Eastern dishes. Z’houg originated in Yemen, but is now also a staple of Israeli cuisine. Z'houg first came to Israel when Yemenite Jews emigrated there in the 1950s.
Chef Scott advises against throwing all the ingredients into the food processor and blending everything at once. He recommends adding the ingredients in batches and pulsing, rather than blending, to combine. This way, the ingredients retain some distinction, creating a more dynamic flavor and texture rather than a homogenous paste.
Chef Scott uses Serrano chilies in this recipe, which are a spicy variety of pepper. For less heat, substitute the Serrano peppers with jalapeños or another more mild chile. To learn about several different kinds of peppers, visit Chef Christy Vega’s “An Overview of Common Peppers” tutorial located at the bottom of the page.