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Red, Green and Smoked Skhug.jpg
Smoked, green and red zhug
Alternative names Sahawiq, daqqus, sahowqa, skhug
Type Condiment
Place of origin Yemen
Region or state Arabian Peninsula
Associated national cuisine Yemeni
Main ingredients Hot peppers, garlic, coriander
Variations Red sahawiq, green sahawiq, brown skhug
Cookbook: Zhug  Media: Zhug

Zhug, skhug (Hebrew: סחוג‬) or sahawiq (Yemeni Arabic: سحاوق) is a Middle Eastern hot sauce originating in Yemeni cuisine. It is very popular in the Arabian Peninsula. In the Persian Gulf region it is also called daqqus (Arabic: دقوس‎, translit. daqqūs).


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

Zhug is made from fresh red or green hot peppers seasoned with coriander, garlic, salt, black cumin (optional) and various spices.[1] Some also add caraway seed. Zhug may be red or green depending on the type of peppers used.


Varieties in Yemen include sahawiq akhdar (green sahawiq), sahawiq ahmar (red sahawiq), and sahawiq bel-jiben (sahawiq with cheese).[2] In Israel, you can find skhug adom ("red skhug"), skhug yarok ("green skhug") and skhug chum ("brown skhug") which has added tomatoes.[citation needed]

In Israel, zhug may be referred to by the generic term harif (Hebrew: חריף; lit. "hot/spicy"). It is a popular condiment at Israeli falafel and shawarma stands, and served with hummus.[3]


Traditional Yemenite cooks prepare sahawiq using two stones: a large stone used as a work surface and a smaller one for crushing the ingredients. Other alternatives are a mortar and pestle or a food processor.[4]

Medicinal properties[edit]

The Jews of Yemen ascribed medicinal properties to chili pepper. According to Yemenite Jewish folklore, the Jews of Yemen survived a great famine, subsisting on tomatoes, hilbeh (fenugreek), and chili peppers. According to another legend, a severe epidemic struck Yemen but the Jews were spared due to their extensive use of these foods. The chili pepper plant was believed to help the body withstand illness, improve vitality and aid digestion, as well as prevent and eliminate intestinal parasites.[citation needed]

See also[edit]