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Dish of zhoug green condiment.

Zhoug (spicy cilantro sauce)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Tracy Halasz


  • 1 cup cilantro, packed
  • ½ cup parsley, packed
  • 1-2 jalapeños peppers
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground (to taste)
  • pinch hot pepper flakes (to taste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)


  • Place the cilantro*, parsley*, jalapeño, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse.
    Small stems are fine.
  • Add the spices, olive oil, and lemon juice, until the desired consistency is reached. Scrapping down the sides of the food processor as necessary. The sauce is meant to be somewhat chunky.
  • Check for flavour, acid, heat, and consistency and adjust to personal preference.
  • Store leftovers in a jar with a tight fitting lid in the fridge to enjoy all week.


Herbs - use all cilantro (which is more traditional) or all parsley (if you are one of those people who can't do cilantro) or go for a blend like I did.
Lemon - freshly squeezed is best.
Hot Peppers - if you want a spicer zhoug, leave in some or all of the seeds and ribs. You can also use a red chili pepper like serrano for red zhoug.
For a milder zhoug  - if you are sensitive to heat, start with 1 jalapeño (no seeds, no ribs), no red pepper flakes and no black pepper. Taste and add more heat to your preference.
Balancing flavors - if the sauce is too zingy, add a pinch of sugar or a bit more oil to temper the acidity.