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What Is Skhug Sauce?

Have you come across Skhug sauce? Are you wondering what it is, what it tastes like, and how it is used? Well, here is all you need to know.

What is Skhug sauce? Skhug sauce is a hot sauce based on chilis and cilantro among other herbs and spices. It originated in Yemen although now is a popular staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. It can be red or green in color, depending on the type of chilis used. It is a versatile condiment that is typically eaten with meats, fish, vegetables, or as a dip for pita bread.

Skhug (otherwise referred to as Schug or Zhug depending on region or language), is a recurring condiment across Middle Eastern cookbooks.

Although, it is particularly popular in Yemenite Jewish cuisine.

But what is it typically made of, exactly?

Let’s find out!

What is Skhug Sauce Made Of?

Skhug sauce is traditionally made from fresh red or green hot chili peppers, cilantro (coriander), garlic, cumin, parsely, lemon juice, and olive oil. However, other ingredients may vary depending on location, recipe, and preferences.

For instance, cardamom, caraway seeds, peppers are just some examples of optional or different ingredients that are sometimes used.

While the ingredients do vary widely across Middle Eastern cuisine, there are a few elements that remain constant: the use of spicy peppers, garlic, spices, and herbs.

And while there are two variations, green (from green chili peppers) and red (from red chili peppers), the green version is much more common.

What Does Skhug Sauce Taste Like?

Skhug is typically very hot, garlicky, and herby in flavor. A little goes a long way and it is supposed to be used sparingly.

What Is Skhug Sauce Eaten With?

Skhug is a versatile condiment that can be eaten with various different foods. The following are typical uses for it:

  • With Falafel,
  • Drizzled over Roasted Vegetables or Grilled Meats,
  • Served with Fish or Steak,
  • Used as a Dipping sauce for Pita Bread,
  • Stirred into Sour Cream or Yogurt,
  • Stirred into Soups, Stews or Sauces,
  • Spread on Sandwiches,
  • Stirred into Pasta.

How Is Skhug Sauce Made

Skhug sauce is typically made by preparing and then blending the ingredients together in a food processor. It is blitzed into a pest-like consistency – so it is not smooth and does have a little texture.

Here is a simple recipe you can follow if you did want to make some yourself.

Just be sure to wear some gloves when handling the jalapeno peppers!

At the same time, depending on the level of heat you desire you can change the types of chili peppers used or how much.


  • 4 Jalapeño Peppers (Green, or Red).
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Cup of Oliv Oil


Step One: Remove the stems from the Jalapeno peppers. Or alternatively, if you prefer a hotter sauce, consider adding them whole in the next step.

Step Two: Add the garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and cumin to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop it all up.

Step Three: With the processor turning, pour the olive oil into the feeder tube. This should create an emulsion. Your Skhug is ready when it is still relatively chunky and small pieces of herbs can be seen.


Skhug – the hot and fiery Middle Eastern sauce.

So do give it a try; besides it’s versatile and if you like spice, this is a great way to introduce it to your food.

Just remember, a little goes a long way.

I mean it!