One thing about low carb cooking is that spices become really important to balance some of the stodginess of just meat or just vegetables. I sometimes meet people who say they would never go low Carb because it’s too restrictive or that the food gets too boring. So early on I discovered the importance of accentuating the flavours of whatever I was cooking.
In South East Asia spices are what is fully embraced in the cuisine – from sambal chili to curries, strong flavours are the norm. But I was astounded when I first tasted Zhoug, which is a Yemeni hot sauce made from peppers and coriander. It was first given to my by a friend who acquired it on his travels and I discovered how good Zhoug was with practically everything. I put Zhoug on toast, in tuna dip, on steaks and basically it was the best condiment I’d tasted in a long time.
Then the Zhoug bottle ran out. And I had to figure out how to get my fix. So I did some trial and error and came up with this version of Zhoug that I like. Mind you, I’m not familiar with Arab food and I’m sure some Yemeni will one day write to me and tell me what a travesty my recipe is, but hey, this Zhoug rocks my boat, ok? And I hope some folks out there like it too.
My Zhoug Recipe
- 2 cups coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped jalapeños
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Using a food processor, finely chop the coriander, garlic and jalapeños.
- Add the oil, vinegar, spices and salt into the mixture and pulse.
- Serve as a seasoning to steak or in dips or with some low carb bread.