Zhug, Hot Yemenite Sauce

This is my version of the sauce, from my book Mediterranean Hot and Spicy

Zhug was brought to Israel by Yemenite Jews and is now the hot condiment of choice in Israel.  You will find zhug (also called z’ houg)  made with green or red chilies in falafel stands and in the kebab restaurants that serve shawarma –vertically skewered pieces of meat– accompanied by many different salads, spreads, relishes, and freshly baked pita bread. Zhug is made with fresh chilies, garlic and coriander, cardamom and other spices.  It is usually very hot, so you should start with a small amount.  Mixed with soaked and ground fenugreek, it becomes Hilbeh.  I prefer to make my zhug with green chilies, to distinguish it from the other red hot sauces of Eastern Mediterranean.

fenugreek
Photo by zoyachubby

OTHER USES:You can add a little Zhug to soups, pasta, and bean dishes, besides  serving it as a condiment with Falafel or any fried vegetable slices.  To make a delicious low-fat sauce or dip for vegetables, mix it with reduced or nonfat Greek yogurt. (more…)

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Spicy Pickled Green Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions

2-3 pounds firm green tomatoes, large or small
1 large or 2 medium onions, quartered or cut into 8 pieces
4 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
3-4 bell peppers, red or green, seeded and each cut into 6 long pieces
3-4 fresh or dried chilies, halved lengthwise with scissors but left attached at the stem
4 bay leaves
2-3 tablespoons coarsely crushed coriander seeds

The Brine:
1 quart white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons salt
2 cinnamon sticks

299
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My Sour Grape Condiment

Last week, for the first time, I made my own concentrated sour grape juice. I have written about it before, as I became addicted to the Lebanese dark and syrupy condiment that I can no longer get…

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From the very old and robust grape vines that engulf the fence of our property in Kea we gather and stuff tender grape leaves in May for our trademark dolmades. But the dark grapes our vines produce later in the summer, although sweet, are filled with seeds and difficult to swallow. Plus we hardly ever manage to harvest them when they ripen, since wasps and all kinds of insects attack them as soon as they start to blush. Come harvest time we just find bunches of rotten half-eaten grapes. (more…)

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