Zhug (Hebrew: סחוג), sahawiq (Yemeni Arabic: سَحاوِق) or bisbas (بسباس) is a hot sauce originating in the Yemeni cuisine.[1] In other countries of the Arabian Peninsula it is also called Mabboj (Arabic: معبوج‎).[2]

Zkhoug vert.jpg
Green zhug
Alternative namesHarif, sahawiq, Mabboj, sahowqa, skhug
Place of originYemen
Main ingredientsHot peppers, garlic, coriander
VariationsRed shkug, green shkug, brown skhug


The word Sahawiq comes from the Arabic root (s-ḥ-q) which means to pestle or to crush.


Skhug is made from fresh red or green hot peppers seasoned with coriander, garlic, salt, black cumin (optional) and various spices.

Varieties in Yemen include sahawiq akhdar (green sahawiq), sahawiq ahmar (red sahawiq), and sahawiq bel-jiben (sahawiq with cheese, usually Yemeni cheese).[3] Sahawiq is one of the main ingredients of Saltah.[4] Wazif (traditional Yemeni dried baby sardines) is sometimes added to the Sahawiq's ingredients and it is known as Sahawiq Wazif (Arabic: سحاوق وزف‎).[5]

Red, Green, and Smoked Zhug

In Israel, one can find skhug adom ("red skhug"), skhug yarok ("green skhug") and skhug khum ("brown skhug"), which has added tomatoes.[citation needed] Zhug may be referred to by the generic term harif (Hebrew: חריף‎; lit. "hot/spicy"). Also known as zhoug,[6][7][8] it is a popular condiment at Israeli falafel and shawarma stands, and served with hummus.[9]


Zhug is made from fresh red or green hot peppers seasoned with coriander, garlic, salt, black cumin (optional) and various spices.[10][11] Some also add caraway seed. Zhug may be red or green depending on the type of peppers used.

Traditional Yemeni cooks prepare sahawiq using two stones: a large stone called marha' (مرهى) used as a work surface and a smaller one called wdi (ودي) for crushing the ingredients. Other alternatives are a mortar and pestle or a food processor.[12] Yemenis sometimes add Pulicaria jaubertii.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Zhug is the Yemeni hot sauce that gives a kick to your cook
  2. ^ الكندري, وفاء. "المعبوج الاخضر". fatafeat.
  3. ^ Various Yemeni Sahawiq varieties
  4. ^ Fury, Dalton (13 May 2014). Full Assault Mode: A Delta Force Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-4668-3585-6.
  5. ^ "طريقة عمل سحاوق الوزف". اكلات يمنية (in Arabic). 7 April 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  6. ^ Ferguson, Gillian (4 October 2017). "What's up with all the zhoug at restaurants around town". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Where to get Auckland's best globally-influenced breakfasts". New Zealand Herald. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  8. ^ Ottolenghi, Yotam; Tamimi, Sami (2012). Jerusalem: A Cookbook. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 301. ISBN 9781607743958.
  9. ^ Red Skhug: A recipe and a story
  10. ^ Goldstein, Nili (6 April 2006). "PASSOVER: Yemenite Flavor at the Seder". Tribe Media. Jewish Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  11. ^ Kremezi, Aglaia (21 June 2010). "Recipe: Zhug (Yemeni Hot Sauce)". The Atlantic. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  12. ^ Janna Gur brings you the taste of Israel: Zhug
  13. ^ "«السحاوق» . . طبق يمني يشتهيه الفقراء والأغنياء - البيان". www.albayan.ae (in Arabic). Retrieved 1 March 2020.