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Zahawig   salata hara

Three kinds of zahawiq (salata hara)


Zahawiq or Zahawig is the name for a spicy Yemeni chutney or salsa which accompanies mnay dishes such as rice, yogurt, bread, fish, meat, etc. There different ways to make zahawig but all of the types I have seen have one thing in common: they are SPICY. Because it has a whole chili, its really not for those who dont like hot foods. This is a condiment which is not only found in Yemen but all over the gulf and the Arab world although it has different names. In Saudi it is called salata hara or hot salad and in North Africa they have something similar called Harissa. The Yemeni zahawig usually includes green chilis, garlic, and a base of fresh tomatoes, with cumin, cilantro, and lemon juice as optional. The regular zahawig can be red or brown or green depending on the ratio of cilantro to tomatoes. The green zahawig is a different kind altogether and it is made from a base of greens and it is served with salad or vegetables and it is less common than the ubiqiutos regular zahawig. I also included a cheese zahawig which is a variation on the regular, and it often accompanies fish or can be eaten with bread, rice, etc.I didnt really measure anything for this recipe, as thats often the way its done but you can watch the video and kind of eyeball it to see how much to add. The general rule I use is one plum tomato to one garlic clove and one green chili (preferably Serrano or something small) but that depends a lot on your taste and how spicy the pepper is.


Regular Zahawig
1 Tomato
1 green chili
1 garlic clove
pinch of cumin seeds
cilantro, optional
lemon/lime juice, optional
salt to taste

Zahawig with Cheese

Regular zahawig plus
a couple tablespoons white cheese or triangle cheese

Green Zahawig
half bunch of parsley or cilantro
garlic chives (chinese chives) - you may be able to find these in a chinatown or a specialty market - they are different than regular chives and flat
radish leaves
1 green chili
thyme leaves
salt to taste

How to make

1. There are two ways to make this: The first is to grind everything to a pulp using a mortar and pestle and the second if to blend it all together using a blender for about 30 seconds. The mortar and pestle gives a better flavor and texture but the blender is much quicker and easier. I also recommend that whatever method you use, you chop up the tomato, chili and garlic beforehand so that you don't end up with lumps. 

2. Zahawig is best when made fresh, I don't find this lasts more than 24 hours and even that is pushing it.




I really enjoy making your recipes. I work on a ship with many Yemen sailors. I surprise them with these foods. thanks

01.18.2014 Reply