Zhoug (pronounced ‘shug’, as in the first syllable of sugar) is a green herb chilli paste from Israel and a perfect accompaniment to my wild garlic falafel. The first time I tried zhoug I was hooked, spreading it on toast, to replace olive oil for a Spanish pan con tomate, stirring it through couscous or bulgar wheat or adding a dollop to tomato soup.
It’s important to use good-quality coriander, not the flaccid kind you find in growing in pots in the supermarket. If you see a good bunch of coriander but don’t have time to make zhoug immediately, wrap the bunch in some dampened kitchen roll and keep it in a bag in the fridge to stop it wilting (this method works well with parsley too).
Zhoug is supposed to be fiery, so use the seeds if your chillies aren’t particularly hot.
If you don’t use it straight away, zhoug will keep in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks – if you can resist eating it, of course!
50g fresh coriander, including stalks
2 green chillies, seeds left in
1 garlic clove, crushed
1½ tsp cumin
1/8 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
Finely chop the coriander, green chillies and crushed garlic; it’s worth using a mezzaluna for this if you have one. (I prefer the texture of zhoug chopped by hand rather than using a food processor, which can make the end result rather mushy.)
Add the cumin, salt and olive oil.