Green Chile Paste (Zhough)
A chile paste from Yemen with a hint of sweet spice
4 ounces fresh green or red chilies
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 pinch sea salt
olive oil to moisten
Remove the seeds and veins from the chilies, chop by hand or in a food processor, and set aside. (If using a food processor, stand back- the volatile oils can be irritating.)
Crush the peppercorns and spices in a mortar. Add the chopped chile, parsley, cilantro, and garlic and continue to work to make a smooth paste. Add oil to moisten-the zhough should have a paste-like consistency- add a pinch of salt. Keep refrigerated and use within a few days.
Can be spread on pita bread or stirred into vegetable stew, soups, and sauces.
Try with grilled sweet potatoes or whenever you want extra heat and spice.
As prepared, each serving contains 60 calories, 4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 5g total carbohydrate and 1g protein.