Zhough is a Yemeni hot sauce made with coriander and spices, served with Greek yoghurt to add a creamy twist.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (184 votes)


  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 3 brown onions, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric  
  • 1 tbsp toum (see Note)
  • 3 bunches English spinach, picked, washed and torn
  • 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • flaked sea salt, to taste
  • 80 g (⅓ cup) toasted pine nuts
  • plain Greek yoghurt, to serve

Braised chickpeas

  • 300 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 5 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped  
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves


  • 100 g coriander, picked and washed (about 2 bunches)
  • 2 long red chillies
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped  
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started 1 day in advance.

  1. For the braised chickpeas, place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until just cooked. Remove from the heat and strain, reserving 1 litre of the braising liquid. Discard the cooked garlic, vegetables and bay leaves.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sliced garlic and cook until translucent and starting to caramelise. Add the turmeric powder and toum and stir continuously for 2 minutes or until fragrant. 
  3. Add the chickpeas and spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. Add the reserved chickpea stock and bring to the boil, then simmer until reduced and thickened.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until they start to break down. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, a good pinch of salt and the pine nuts.
  4. Meanwhile, for the zhough, place all the ingredients in a food processor or a mortar and pestle and blitz until a paste is formed. Add a little bit of water to thin it down if needed.
  5. Place the braised chickpeas into a serving dish and drizzle the zhough generously over the top. Add a spoonful of yoghurt for extra sourness to serve. 



• Toum is usually sold as 'garlic dip' in supermarkets.


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