Shaata Recipe, Spicy Sauce
A good sauce can transform a dish from hmmm to yummm. This spicy sauce, sometimes called shaata, zhoug, zhug or sahawiq, can be made in advance and frozen so that you always have some to hand – just thaw thoroughly before use. I make a batch the first weekend of the month and I’m usually out by the 28th of the month.
I was trying to recreate the tomato-based, spicy condiment served at Abu Zaad in Shepherd’s Bush, London. My shaata is not authentic by any means. It is more of a cross between tomato sauce and chimichurri – herby, fresh and spicy. When you are next in London, stop by Abu Zaad for the real thing.
Shaata has plenty of uses. Use it as a falafel sauce. Add 1 teaspoon per egg in our California avocado and spicy eggs recipe. Shaata can replace salsa in most TexMex recipes. The fresh herb flavour works great with beef; use as a base for Beef Chilli to replace the cayenne. Or just mix it with ketchup for a spicy dip for chips.
- 50 g parsley fresh, flat leaf, leaves picked
- 100 g coriander fresh, leaves picked
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 8 medium birds eye chilis fresh,stems cut off but left whole
- 390 g passata preferably with basil or with garlic and onion
- 200 ml water
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil salad dressing quality, extra virgin olive oil preferred
- In a food processor, pulse the parsley, coriander, garlic and whole, fresh chilis into a paste.
- In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine herb paste with passata and water.
- Heat through on low for about 10 minutes – this “burns off” the raw garlic taste and helps the flavours meld.
- Turn heat to medium and bubble the sauce for approximately 5 minutes to thicken.
- Add red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Let cool and then store in sterilised jars (I use leftover jam jars or mason jars).
- Freeze extra and thaw completely before use.