Homemade Red Zhug or Sahawiq or Daqqus Recipe- Yemenite Hot Pepper Condiment

Recently, I was at the market, stocking up on cheap produce, and my favorite shop keeper basically shoved a few large hot peppers into my shop. I protested, saying "What am I going to do with all these hot peppers? I have some at home already" and he said "You'll figure out that to do with them." He didn't charge me extra, so I figured, why not...
Once home, I remembered that when we went to visit my friend's house, my kids fell in love with a certain condiment at her table, made from zhug mixed with mayonnaise, and they'd been begging me to make it at home.

Zhug (pronounced skhug), also known as Sahawiq or Daqqus, is a hot pepper and cilantro based hot sauce, hailing from Yemen. It is a great addition to nearly anything, if you enjoy heat in your food. Shawarma and falafel are often served with zhug spread on the pita or taboon bread before filling it. Zhug is added to many different sandwiches, and it is an ingredient in many people's hilbeh, Yemenite fenugreek dip. And of course, it is delicious mixed with mayonnaise and then used as a spread or a dip.

There are both green and red types of zhug, depending on the types of hot pepper used, and their taste differs somewhat. I made this recipe up by researching a bunch of different recipes, and then combining them to form this. Feel free to play around with it, it doesn't need to be exactly this proportion of ingredients- it's a matter of taste.

I'm just warning you though that this doesn't keep so well. Divide it into little batches and freeze the rest, using up a little bit at a time, so that it doesn't go off. I'm trying to figure out what to add to this to maybe help preserve it a little better than the current recipe does. Perhaps more lemon juice, or a bit of vinegar, and more salt? Not sure. But either way, divide it up and freeze what you aren't currently using so you don't have to worry.

Oh- and this recipe? It's suitable for nearly every diet, from Paleo to vegan, gluten free and allergy friendly. The only people this recipe isn't good for are people off nightshades or on the auto-immune paleo protocol.

I highly recommend it. It's awesome, and so easy to make.

Homemade Red Zhug or Sahawiq or Daqqus Recipe- Yemenite Hot Pepper Condiment

3 large red hot peppers- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro packed
6 cloves garlic
3 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Put the cardamom pods in a coffee grinder to grind up. If you don't have a coffee grinder, either use a mortar and pestle, or use the equivalent amount of pre-ground cardamom pods (a little under 1/4 teaspoon).

2. Remove the stem from your hot peppers, but don't de-seed.

3. Stick all the ingredients together in a food processor and blend until as smooth as possible, pushing down zhug that goes up the sides of the food processor periodically.

4. Divide into separate small containers, and freeze until use.


Are you a fan of zhug? Do you call it zhug, sahawiq, or daqqus? Do you prefer the red or green versions? What is your favorite way to eat it? 
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Do you crush the whole cardamom pod or only the seeds from the pods?

  2. You could lacto ferment this - I think it would keep well.


  3. This was sooo good. Made it for a meal and everyone at the table enjoyed.

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