I was born in Israel. My mother is from Iraq and my father is from Romania, so we ate lots of Middle Eastern and European food when I was growing up. The one thing that tastes good with both is zhough, a Yemeni condiment made with green chilli, garlic and spices. At home in Tel Aviv, we had it on the table at every meal. My mum would put it out with hummus and pita to stop us fighting while she prepared dinner. My friend’s dad, Moti, who is from Sana’a in Yemen, used to make big batches of it for us; one for the freezer and one for the fridge. When we got low, we would beg him for more because everything tastes boring without zhough! This is his recipe and I make it just as he did. You can eat zhough with anything: falafel, sabich (Israeli eggplant sandwich), some of my Australian friends even have it with pizza and risotto. It’s very hot when you first make it, but after a few days, it’s perfect. Or if you’re tough enough, eat it straight away!
Interview Louisa Allan
Photography sean fennessy