Skip to Main Content

Zhug Sauce

Pulverized ingredients for Zhug Sauce in a bowl with a spoon

Cook time: About 5 minutes 
Serves: Makes ½ cup

Print Recipe (PDF)


  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 2 cardamom pods, outer shell removed 
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 
  • 2 fresh chilis, roughly chopped, or other hot pepper such as 1 jalapeno or 1 serrano 
  • ½ cup fresh parsley 
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro 
  • ⅓ – ½ cup olive oil 
  • kosher salt 


Place a small sauté pan on the stove and add the peppercorns, cumin, coriander, and cardamom. Turn the heat to low and allow the spices to toast gently, shaking the pan occasionally, until spices are lightly browned and very fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Transfer spices to the bowl of a mortar and grind with a pestle until spices are broken down and starting to take on a fine texture.

Add the garlic and chilis along with ¼ tsp kosher salt. Continue to grind and pound with the pestle, breaking down the spices, garlic, and chilis until a rough paste begins to take shape.

Add ¼ of the herbs to the mortar and keep grinding, breaking the herbs down and incorporating them into the paste. Continue until all of the herbs have been added and the sauce is relatively homogenous.

Slowly pour in the olive oil, mixing with the pestle. Once emulsified, taste and add additional salt if preferred.

Sauce will keep in the fridge for up to one week and also freezes well. Bring to room temperature before serving.

From Season 4, Episode 5