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  • Zhug

    Posted on March 9th, 2009 admin 2 comments

    So in a lot of my research on recipes I keep coming up with this stuff call zhug, skhug, kharif, which is used like Nam Prik Pao or Harissa, except this maybe the hottest one yet. While it seemed ubiquitous I could not find it, and asked one of my associates about it, who looked at me with a blanker stare than usual. After some discussions, he caught what I was talking about and said “Oh, you mean kharif.” The rest is culinary history.

    As always when working with hot peppers and the like, wear protective gear, (Glasses, gloves, etc), and wash your hands throughly.


    Skhug, also spelled zhug, also kharif (Hebrew: for spicy), is a Yemenite hot sauce popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and called in Yemen Sahaweg is made from ground fresh hot peppers seasoned with coriander, garlic and various spices. Red skhug (Skhug adom) and green skhug (skhug yarok) differ only in the color (ripeness) of the pepper used, with the green usually being more potent, while brown skhug is red skuhug with the addition of tomatoes and coriander. (Usually added in an attempt to tone down the level of spiciness.

    Traditionally, skhug is made ground by hand, grinding each ingredient separately with a mortar and pestle, then mixing them together and grinding again. Temani skhug is made using green chilies and cilantro/fresh coriander. It is a common staple of Temani (Yemenite Jewish) cuisine.



    Quan Meas Ingredient Comment
    1 Cup Fresh, Chopped
    2 Cloves Garlic peeled
    1 Tsp Cardamom Fresh Ground
    1/2 Tsp Coriander (Cilantro)Fresh chopped
    1/2 Tsp Parsley Fresh chopped
    1 Tsp Caraway Seed Toast and crush
    1 Tsp Cumin Seed Toast and Crush
    1 Tsp Salt Kosher, of course


    1. In a food processor, puree the peppers
    2. add parsley and puree
    3. add Cilantro and puree
    4. add spices and puree
    5. Move to a covered container and rest for 1 hour in fridge
    6. Preparation