Zhoug – a spicy, vibrant and fresh chilli-based dip

Mark Hughes BBQ, Dips & sauces 0 Comments

It’s difficult to convey how great Zhoug is until you try it for yourself. It’s so simple to make, but the payoff for just 10 minutes prep time is off the scale.

Despite the seemingly insane proportion of chillies, it isn’t ridiculously hot. Of course, it has a bite, but it is still the most incredibly vibrant and fresh accompaniment to any BBQ you’ll try this summer. Reduce the number of chillies and deseed them if you prefer a fruity chilli bite rather than heat.

Make up a batch and keep it in a sterilised jar in the fridge – it’ll keep for a few months, although mine never lasts that long. This also seems to mellow the heat even more, but if you’re still nervous you can always deseed all the chillies the first time you make it to be sure.

Either way, it’s destined to become a firm favourite and one that you’ll be asked to bring to every BBQ going forward, so be careful who you share the secret with!


  • 15-20 green chillies – deseed some according to taste (I often do 50/50)
  • 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup fresh coriander
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp water to loosen
  • 1/4 cup of rapeseed oil – use olive oil if you prefer, but I think olive oil can sometimes have a ‘green’, almost bitter taste that fights against the warmth of this dip


  1. Simple! Put everything in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and combined. I normally do the chillies first, then add everything else except the oil, then add the oil at the end for a final pulse. If you have a bit more time you can chop everything by hand and combine, but I find there’s very little difference in the end result so opt for the path of least resistance.

This is incredible with any BBQ meats, especially lamb. You can always temper the heat with sour cream or natural yoghurt and some pitta breads. Try it with the Ras-el-hanout lamb recipe for a fantastically easy lunch packed full of flavour. Let us know how you get on!


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