This recipe is based on Middle Eastern zhoug, a fiery pesto like dip, that tastes great with anything that needs an extra kick.

It also has medicinal properties believed to benefit the immune system and stomach. The dip should be very hot, so use birds eye or finger chillies.

This dip tastes great with flat bread or tortilla chips, but is not too overpowering as an accompaniment for fish or meat.   Try it on burgers, meat or veggie, sparingly as a topping on roasted fish or with crackers and cheese.

Spiced Chilli and Coriander Pesto

Makes about 200g

3 spicy green chillies

5 cardamom pods

½ tsp cumin seed

6 cloves

1 large clove garlic

Pinch of sugar

Small bunch of coriander – about 50g, leaves and stalks

Small bunch of parsley – about 50g, leaves and stalks

50g pinenuts – toasted

½ tsp salt

Juice of ½ lime

Olive oil

  1. Grind the cardamom, cumin, cloves, sugar and salt in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  2. Put everything in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.  Add enough olive oil to make a paste consistency.
  3. Pack into a clean jar or tub, smooth the top and cover with olive oil.  Use within 2 weeks.