Both deeply herby and searingly spicy, this Yemenite condiment is popular all over the Middle East, where it’s dabbed on just about everything: falafels, shawarma, grilled meats and vegetables. You can adjust the heat to suit your tolerance: Use fewer jalapeños for something more moderate, or the full amount if you like your sauces to pack a punch. This recipe leans into the earthy, bright flavor of cilantro, but using half parsley and half cilantro is equally popular if you want to vary it.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 10garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 4to 8 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
- 2teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
- 2packed cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- ½teaspoon ground cardamom or coriander
- ¼teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste
Step 1Place garlic, jalapeño and lemon juice in a food processor or blender, and pulse to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula when necessary.
Step 2Add cilantro, cumin, cardamom or coriander, and pepper, and purée until smooth. With the motor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil to form a homogeneous paste. Pulse in salt. Taste, and add more salt and lemon juice if needed.
Step 3Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Use as a sauce for grilled or roasted meat or seafood, especially full-flavored fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon; spoon it over egg dishes like shakshuka and scrambled eggs; stir it into soups and stews; spread it on sandwiches, especially those filled with falafel, roasted vegetables, or mozzarella and tomato; swirl it into thick yogurt or hummus for a dip.