Inspired by a visit to one of my favourite Canberra restaurants. They serve their Zhoug with a beautifully grilled juicy steak. Since then I’ve been a little zhoug-obsessed.

It’s wonderful with everything from BBQ chicken to pan fried fish to grilled vegetables to your breakfast eggs. And brilliant to jazz up a sardine salad for lunch.

Think of zhoug as a Middle Eastern version of chimmichurri.

This recipe was inspired by Karen Martini’s version in ‘Where the Heat Is’. It has way more ingredients than I normally would use, but it’s so good I didn’t want to tinker with the recipe!

makes about 1.5 cups
takes 15 minutes

2 bunches coriander (cilantro)
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon carraway seeds
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon
pinch cardamom seeds (optional)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
squeeze lemon
3 tablespoons water
4-6 red chillies
1 clove garlic

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until you have a smoothish sauce. Taste and season with salt as needed.

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Variations & Substitutions

different herbs – extra parsley, basil, mint or oregano all work.

less hot – skip the chilli.

no preserved lemon – use the zest of a lemon instead and a few tablespoons lemon juice + extra salt.

no carraway seeds – use coriander seeds instead. Different flavour but still tasty.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

coriander (cilantro) – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.

flat leaf parsley – tends to be the most long lasting of the leafy herbs. Should keep for a few weeks in the fridge if wrapped in a plastic bag. For longer periods pop it in the freezer – it will wilt but will still be useable in this dish.

ground cumin / caraway seeds / cardamom seeds / extra virgin olive oil / preserved lemon – keep them in the pantry.

lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

red chillies – will keep for months in the fridge. Can be frozen or left unwrapped in the fridge they will slowly turn into dried chillies and still be edible.

garlic – will keep for months in the pantry. I wrap in a brown paper bag to protect from light and prevent shooting.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Keeps for weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Can be frozen.

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